Pushing 60 Wednesday, Winter Storm Watch for Friday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday february 28 2018 winter storm watch
Temperatures will push towards 60 degrees on Wednesday, but another rapid change to winter is in store with significant snow possible on Friday.

The Ups & Downs of Early Spring

There is perhaps no time of the year more prone to wild swings in the weather than the spring. This was on display last week and we will go for another wild ride this week.

Temperatures Wednesday will soar under south winds and some sunshine to their highest point of an already warm week.

Across the northern Finger Lakes especially, highs this afternoon will flirt with 60 degrees. Mid and upper 50s will be widespread across the rest of the Finger Lakes.

There will be a bit more in the way of cloud cover today, but the sun should still be in and out of the clouds. Winds will also be a bit gusty, with wind gusts over 20 mph through the region, with higher elevations in the Southern Tier gusting to 30 mph.

Meanwhile, over the southern Plains, a storm system will start to take shape. As this system pushes northeast towards the Ohio Valley, our winds will turn towards the northeast for Thursday.

This will start to cool temperatures, especially over the western Finger Lakes where cool air off of Lake Ontario will blow inland.

Highs on Thursday will range from around 50 degrees near and southeast of Ithaca to only near 40 degrees in Rochester.

By Thursday evening, low pressure will be just southwest of the region and rain will move into the area.


Significant Snow Possible, But Uncertain

Throughout Thursday night, low pressure is expected to redevelop off the coast of New England. As this process unfolds, temperatures will drop across the Finger Lakes, changing the rain to snow.

The low pressure system may then sit off the coast for a period of time while extending northwest towards the original low.

This is a rather complex scenario, but one we have seen many times before.

Heavy snow is possible after midnight Thursday night, continuing through Friday with snow showers lingering into early Saturday.

Significant snow accumulations are certainly in the realm of possibility. However, there are still a lot of questions that need to be resolved before trying to nail down amounts.

The transition of the low pressure to the coast, the change from rain to snow, and the location of the extension of the low pressure, which will serve as a focal point for heavy snow, are all factors that will have a major impact on snow amounts.

Based on the current European Ensemble forecasts, which is a set of 51 model runs, each with slightly different conditions or equations, there is about a 50% chance for over 6 inches of snow and about a 10-25% chance of a foot or more of snow. There is also about a 5-15% chance for no snow at all.

Undoubtedly, the hype machine will crank up in full force today with the National Weather Service rightfully issuing Winter Storm Watches. Remember — a WATCH means there is potential for significant winter weather, but it is not a complete certainty yet!

I will have a snow accumulation map for the Finger Lakes Region Thursday morning, or if there is enough certainty, later tonight.


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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.

4 Responses

  1. Mary

    I’m supposed to drive out from Massachusetts Friday morning. Seeing there is snow but now estimated amounts. Any idea?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Very, very uncertain but currently considering 6″-10″ or 12″

  2. Linda Pearson

    Great job Drew! I live in Skaneateles and use only you for a correct weather report. Keep up the good work. Thank you!

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you, Linda!