Rain changes to snow as cold air moves in Saturday

finger lakes weather forecast saturday december 23 2017 rain ice snow accumulation map
Widespread rain will turn to snow from northwest to southeast on Saturday with several inches of accumulation likely. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Soggy to Snowy Saturday

A large area of widespread rain has moved into the Finger Lakes with a little icy mix along the northern and western fringes of the region.

Steady precipitation will persist for the remainder of the daytime hours before tapering off this evening.

Cold air will gradually seep south and east, changing the rain over to snow throughout the course of the morning and first part of the afternoon.

finger lakes weather snow amounts snow map saturday december 23 2017
Snow amounts will be heaviest northwest of the Finger Lakes and will gradually lessen further south and east. The snow should largely end by 7 pm. Click the map to enlarge.

During the transition from rain to snow, a period of freezing rain will also be possible with a glazing of ice before the accumulating snow.

Once the rain turns to snow, the snow will come down hard for a time.

The highest snow accumulations will be further north and west, where it will snow the longest. Areas west of Rochester could see as much as 5 or 6 inches.

Most of the Finger Lakes will see between 2 and 4 inches by this evening, while southern and eastern areas may only see snow for a couple of hours. These areas should only see an inch or two of snow accumulation.

The snow should quickly end from west to east between 5-7 p.m. Just a couple stray flurries are possible after 7 p.m. with no additional accumulation.

The Zip-Code Forecasts have been updated to reflect the most likely time for the transition between rain and snow. These times are estimates but should serve as a good guide for what to expect during the midday and early afternoon hours.

You can easily get to your Zip-Code Forecast by entering your zip-code in the box at the end of this blog post.

finger lakes interactive weather radar
Mobile friendly and interactive, Finger Lakes Weather’s radar page is the place to go for up-to-the-minute information. Color coded to easily see rain, snow, and ice! Click here!

A White Christmas

Saturday night and much of Sunday will be quiet in the Finger Lakes.

A few stray snow showers will be possible from time to time, especially near Lake Ontario where some weak lake effect may develop.

Sunday will be a cloudy day as the next weather maker approaches. A couple snow showers will start to show up in the afternoon hours with steadier snow developing Sunday evening.

Several hours of steady moderate snow are likely during the magical overnight between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, dropping several more inches of fresh snow.

By Christmas morning, widespread snow will start to taper off from southwest to northeast.

Still, some squalls off of Lake Ontario could bring briefly heavy snow through the region during Christmas morning, keeping road conditions less than perfect.

I will have a new snow accumulation map for this event Sunday morning.

Heavier lake effect will set up Monday afternoon and evening, but largely outside of the immediate Finger Lakes. Travelers heading towards Buffalo or in the areas south of Watertown should expect delays due to heavy snow.

Arctic Blast

Behind the Christmas day system, cold air will come rushing into the Finger Lakes on gusty northwest winds.

Wind gusts on Christmas Day should exceed 40 mph and some 50 mph gusts will be possible. Winds will continue to gust over 30 mph through Tuesday.

Very cold air will be transported into the region on these strong winds.

Temperatures on Monday will fall through the 20s, but will only be near 20 degrees on Tuesday.

That will kick off an extended period where temperatures may fail to reach 20 degrees which could extend right into the new year.

In fact, by the turn of the year, high temperatures may even be struggling to get much past 10 or 15 degrees with morning lows near or below zero.

Lake effect snow will be plentiful during this time, there the specifics of where and when the heaviest will fall will need to be worked out.

More widespread snow could certainly be possible as well, but there are no specific threats certain enough to address at this time.

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Follow Meteorologist Drew Montreuil:
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 and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.