Look, it snowed! Time for winter hype!

finger lakes weather forecast friday november 10 2017 snow cold wind chill temperature
Lake effect snow will end Friday morning, but it will remain very cold and windy through the afternoon. [Photo by Nanci McCraine]

Bitter Cold Friday

The much advertised cold shot has arrived in the Finger Lakes with strong winds, lake effect snow, and record cold temperatures.

Areas of lake effect snow are scattered about this morning. Most areas have a light coating of snow from the cold front last night and the lake effect this morning.

The lake snows should taper off over the next couple of hours and should be over by the late morning. Little to no additional accumulation is expected for the brief on and off snow showers.

Once the lake effect clears out, skies will be a mix of sun and clouds

Temperatures range from the mid teens to the mid 20s across the region this morning. In general, a rise of only a degree or two is expected during the course of the day as cold air continues to pour into the region.

The wind will continue to be strong with frequent gusts over 30 mph. This will keep wind chill values in the single digits and teens throughout the day.

Winds will start to settle down tonight, but will not completely turn calm. Temperatures will slide back into teens for most areas. A brief spray of a few snow showers will be possible off of Lake Ontario early this evening, but most of the overnight will be quiet.

Quiet Weekend

High pressure will build in from the west, keeping the weather quiet, and cool, through the weekend.

After near record cold morning lows in the teens, temperatures Saturday will only warm to the mid 30s during the afternoon.

Skies will sunny, though there will be some mid and high atmosphere clouds that the sun will shine through from time to time.

Sunday will not be as cold but will remain below normal. Morning lows will start in the 20s with afternoon highs in the low 40s.

Skies will likely be a bit cloudier on Sunday, though some sunshine is still expected.

A couple snow and rain showers will be possible late Sunday night into Monday morning with little to no accumulation.

Hype Already!?

The Winter Storm Hype Machine has wasted no time cranking into full gear with one of the most egregious examples of fear mongering I can remember in recent years.

The hype started a couple of days ago with talk of a pre-Thanksgiving nor’easter and lake effect snow storm impacting a large part of the Northeast.

At the onset of the hype, the event in question was still about two full weeks in advance. Calling for a high impact event during one of the busiest travel times of the year two weeks in advance is completely irresponsible and a terrible example of hype. There is simply zero confidence in those sort of details at that significant of a time frame.

So, what is the truth and what is too early to know?

Yes, the weather pattern looks like it could possibly produce active weather sometime between next weekend and early Thanksgiving week.

Sure, *if* a significant storm does form somewhere, there will probably be cold air on the back side that leads to some snow. How much? Where? There is absolutely no way to know at this point.

For those weather reporters that just can’t help themselves with looking at specific details on the weather simulation models, consider the European Ensembles.

Just as a refresher, the ensembles are a set of model runs with slightly different conditions, physics, and algorithms that produce a range of possible outcomes. The European weather model is routinely one of the top models in the world.

Currently, of the 51 members of the European Ensemble suite, just three show a significant snowfall in Ithaca during the time in question. That is less than 6%. The average amount of snow shown on the ensembles for this event is around an inch.

Could a big, travel snaring storm still happen? Sure. There is always a small chance. But no one is going to know for at least another week.

Please, don’t buy into the hype, don’t share the hype, don’t even give the hype artists what they want: your ad-revenue generating clicks. It will only continue to encourage their irresponsible, unscientific behavior.

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil has been forecasting the weather in the Finger Lakes region since 2006 and has degrees in meteorology from SUNY Oswego (B.S. with Honors) and Cornell (M.S.). Drew and his wife have four young boys. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.

4 Responses

  1. Joan

    The hype machine is a juggernaut and it’s so old and annoying, IMO. Your site is a breath of fresh, bracing Arctic air sweeping into our area, Drew. Thanks for your honesty and accuracy!

  2. […] Montreuil continued, “Calling for a high impact event during one of the busiest travel times of the year two weeks in advance is completely irresponsible and a terrible example of hype. There is simply zero confidence in those sort of details at that significant of a time frame.” […]

  3. John

    Kudos. I reposted to my Natural History group (Kestrel Haven Migration Observatory). Succinct and elegant statement/explanation.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you, John!