Weather patterns shift away from arctic cold

finger lakes weather forecast friday january 19 2018 sunny warmer
Temperatures will continue their upward trend with mid 30s for highs on Friday and low 40s still expected for the weekend.

Large-Scale Warming

Warmer temperatures are returning to the eastern United States as the continental and global weather patterns undergo a shift.

For most of the past month, the jet stream has dug deep into the southeastern United States, opening the door to arctic air.

This pattern has finally broken down with a jet stream now coming across the northern United States and southern Canada, keeping the extreme cold bottled up well to the north.

finger lakes weather eastern united states weather map friday january 19 2018
A broad flow of warm air is pushing northeast towards the Great Lakes region on Friday, setting the stage for slightly above normal temperatures through the weekend. Click the map to enlarge.

Underneath these upper-level wind patterns, high pressure at the surface is sprawled across the Deep South while a small storm system is tracking along the jet stream in central Canada.

A southwest wind between these two systems has expanded across most of the eastern United States, resulting in warmer air pushing northeast.

The leading edge of a surge of this warmer air is working through the Great Lakes, resulting in some extra cloud cover to the west of the Finger Lakes.

Some on and off periods of clouds will likely mix with sunshine Friday as a result.

Temperatures today will finally rise back above normal by a couple of degrees with highs in the mid 30s.

Comfortable Weekend

By Saturday morning, that Canadian low will be tracking north of the Finger Lakes.

A few clouds, some gusty winds, and perhaps an isolated stray shower or flurry will be possible as the system passes by.

Periods of sun are also likely on Saturday as that system departs.

Temperatures should climb into the low 40s for most areas, though with wind gusts of 25-35 mph, it may feel a touch cooler.

Sunday will have lighter winds, but less sunshine and temperatures a couple degrees cooler.

Most areas should still reach 40 degrees, but only a few will get beyond that.

The increase in clouds will be in response to a new weather system that will develop over the middle of the nation and will track northeast towards the Great Lakes.

Next Week Preview

That same weather system will be the primary player in our weather next week.

As the storm lifts into the western Great Lakes, a few rain showers may break out across the Finger Lakes on Monday as warmer air tries to push north.

This will actually lead to slightly cooler temperatures Monday thanks to the clouds and showers, with highs in the upper 30s.

Cloudy, rainy conditions are also likely on Tuesday as the low slowly meanders east across the Great Lakes and its cold front pushes into our region.

Some of that rain could be moderate to heavy at times, with over a half-inch possible, especially in the eastern Finger Lakes.

With temperatures in the 40s and wind gusts of 30-40 mph, ice jams could become a concern.

Rain will turn to some light snow Tuesday night and should linger through Wednesday as moist, north winds flow over Lake Ontario.

High pressure will build in for the end of the week, taking temperatures from just below normal, back to warmer than normal.

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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. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.

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