Christmas Eve Snow
The daytime hours of Christmas Eve will be quiet across the Finger Lakes, but snow will start to overspread the area tonight.
A storm system will take shape today across the Ohio Valley before it tracks into Western New York tonight.
Out ahead of this system, skies will remain cloudy much of the day. There is a small break in the clouds that could bring a little late morning sunshine, but any such break will be brief.
Temperatures will not move much today with upper 20s this morning becoming low 30s this afternoon.
Snow will start to move in from southwest to northeast this evening, especially after 9 p.m.
The snow will fall steadily for a couple of hours at a moderate rate. However, with the center of the low tracking over Lake Erie and Western New York, a wedge of dry air should work into the Finger Lakes, causing the snow to taper off or even mostly end before sunrise Christmas morning.
For this reason, only an inch or two is expected within much of the Finger Lakes with slightly higher amounts just outside of the region.
On and off flurries and squalls will continue through Christmas morning before the event transitions to lake effect for Monday afternoon.
Arctic Air Arrives
Temperatures Christmas morning will start out around 30 degrees after little change in temperature overnight.
However, strong northwest winds behind the storm system will usher in a prolonged period of arctic cold.
Throughout the day on Monday, temperatures will slowly retreat back into the mid 20s by the afternoon.
Winds will gust between 40-50 mph, not only causing areas of blowing snow but sending wind chills into the single digits.
Lake effect snow will develop quickly by midday Monday. While the Lake Ontario snow will be well north of the area across the Tug Hill, squalls from Lake Erie may make their way into the Finger Lakes, adding another inch or two for some areas Monday afternoon and evening.
The lake effect will push south some on Tuesday, but not far enough south for the Lake Ontario band to make it into the Finger Lakes. Just a couple stray snow showers in the Finger Lakes are expected as a result.
Temperatures will continue to tumble, with highs Tuesday around 20 degrees. Wednesday will only top out in the low and mid teens, with widespread low teens for highs by Thursday.
Some lake snows from Lake Ontario may move into the Finger Lakes by later Wednesday and Thursday with mostly light accumulations.
This arctic air is expected to remain in place through the remainder of 2017. In fact, temperatures may not even climb back above 20 degrees until well into the new year.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Stay warm and safe.