Much warmer temperatures are expected in the Finger Lakes Thursday and especially Friday.
Temperatures on the Rise
Clear skies and calm winds underneath a large area of high pressure have temperatures in the Finger Lakes in the teens and single digits this morning.
As high pressure shifts east, winds will turn towards the south. This, along with the sunny skies, will help temperatures rebound nicely today with even warmer temperatures likely on Friday.
Look for high temperatures to push well into the 30s for most of the Finger Lakes. Some of the western areas could reach 40 degrees this afternoon. With light winds, it will be a tremendous improvement over yesterday.
Friday will be even nicer as warm air pushes north into the region. Again, the western reaches of the Finger Lakes will see the warmest temperatures while areas further east remain cooler.
Areas along and west of I-390 could push into the mid 50s. Further east, mid 40s are more likely.
Sloppy early Friday and later Saturday
The increase in temperature on Friday will come as a front lifts north through the area. Precipitation will be likely along this front, especially during the morning hours on Friday.
Enough cold air may be in place for some sloppy mixed precipitation during the morning commute Friday.
Precipitation may start out as a coating of snow before turning to an icy mix. A coating of ice could make for slick travel.
At this time, the best chance for accumulating ice appears to be roughly from Penn Yan south and west. Areas further east may see more snow than ice, while areas to the north may see a quicker transition to rain.
More icy weather may be possible later Saturday as the front sinks back south into the region. Most of the precipitation Saturday should be rain, but there are still uncertainties regarding the timing of the heaviest precipitation and extent of colder air.
Check back for an update this evening by 6 pm.
Longer Term Trends
With the intense cold snap yesterday coming on the heels of the “official” start of Spring earlier this week, many have been asking if that was the last blast of cold.
While it is not really possible to pick out individual quick hitting cold snaps like that more than a week or so in advance, some estimates for the longer term can be made.
Firstly, late March and April are a time of rapid warming across the Finger Lakes. The average high today in Ithaca is 45 degrees. By April 23, just a month from now, the average high jumps all the way to 59 degrees. So, by default, we will definitely start moving towards warmer and warmer weather over the next couple of weeks.
Digging into the models a bit, temperatures will likely average out near normal for the next couple of weeks. That may not mean consistent temperatures in the upper 40s, but more likely will mean more up and down fluctuations.
As we get deeper into April, temperatures may climb above normal, signaling a true end to winter.
Also, the long term snow predictions from the European ensembles have begun to show significantly less snow over the next 6 weeks, also indicating a decreasing chance for wintry weather.
This is not to say there will not be more cold shots or even a quick hitting snow storm. But, the end is in sight, and for many, that is satisfying enough to hear for now.