December Starts Tranquil
The Finger Lakes will kick off December, and the meteorological winter season, with a few days of quiet weather.
High pressure over the Mid-Mississippi Valley Friday morning will track northeast through our region.
Out ahead of this high though, low-level moisture associated with the system that brought Thursday evening’s rain is still locked in place.
For most of the region, this just means some cloud cover. However, northwest winds over Lake Ontario are producing a few scattered showers and flurries south and southeast of the lake.
These will mostly be around Friday morning before winds become less favorable for lake effect and dry air works in.
Some sunshine is possible today, especially for areas further southwest and especially later in the day.
Temperatures Friday will rise to near 40 degrees this afternoon while a southerly flow and some overnight cloud cover keep temperatures in the low 30s overnight.
Saturday will feature a mix of clouds and sun. Most of the cloud cover will be high in the atmosphere and thin enough to at least let some sunshine filter through.
A batch of some thicker clouds will be possible Saturday afternoon as warm air pushes northward. There is a small chance for a shower with this, but the chances are small. Skies should turn at least partly sunny again before sundown.
Temperatures on Saturday will push into the mid 40s with overnight temperatures dropping to near 30 degrees.
Sunday will be warmer yet as temperatures make a run at 50 degrees.
Earlier this week, it looked like a cold front would move through on Sunday. This is no longer the case as the already weak front is now expected to wash out before it reaches the area.
As a result, there should be some sunshine on Sunday as well with no precipitation expected.
Mild temperatures will continue into Monday and especially Tuesday as a large storm system takes shape to our west, keeping south winds in place.
Winter is Gathering
There are very strong indications that our weather pattern will undergo a drastic change late next week to a prolonged period of winter-like cold.
The same storm system that will keep the area warm early in the week will gradually usher in colder air as it spins over Canada.
This will then set the stage for a reinforcing shot of cold air towards next weekend as a fast moving “clipper” system from Canada drops southeast.
A very chilly air mass will settle in with an arctic high pressure system behind that clipper.
Currently, based on the European ensemble projections, we can expect daily high temperatures for the second full week of December to be near or below freezing.
There are currently no credible widespread snowstorm threats associated with this cold. A large area of high pressure is expected to dominate much of the eastern United States during this cold outbreak, which is not conducive to snow storms.
However, with temperatures this cold, the potential for lake effect will certainly exist. It remains much too early to determine what locations may see lake effect as well as how robust the lake effect will be. More than just cold air is needed for intense lake effect.
So, in conclusion, it seems very likely that a prolonged period of cold weather is on its way. However, there is no certainty that this will bring significant snow with it at this time.
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