Nor’easter remains east, snow showers linger for the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast noreaster snowstorm snow map
After some light snow Tuesday night, a nor’easter will pass mostly east of the Finger Lakes with lighter snow showers lingering into the weekend. [Photo by Dwight Myers]

Nor’easter Updates

Low pressure is developing off the coast of Virginia this morning and will rapidly strengthen into a nor’easter today.

As I have been repeating for days now, this system is not a major threat to the Finger Lakes.

In my update last night, I gave some credit to a more western track, which was being shown on all models except the European model, but I did not go all in on the western track. This resulted in my snow map differing from other local forecasts with lower amounts. I also specified that if anything, I felt that higher amounts would be pushed further east away from the Finger Lakes, not further west into our region.

The models overnight have now darted east towards the European projections. There has been a pattern for the overnight models to dart east, only to come back west during the day.

finger lakes weather forecast nor'easter snow map wednesday march 7 2018
The far eastern Finger Lakes may see a couple of inches of snow Wednesday afternoon as a nor’easter clips the region. Map valid from 10am-8pm Wednesday.

This back and forth wobbling in the models is common with this type of storm. It creates a difficult forecast, yes, but it really highlights a problem in modern meteorology.

So many forecasters jump back and forth with the models. They get glued to the computers and forget the meteorology behind them. Not all do this, of course, and there are many great meteorologists here locally in the media and especially in the National Weather Service. This is not a critique of them, but a lesson on why forecasts seem to change frequently.

For me, I tend to hold off on making a snow map until there is either enough confidence to do so accurately or time runs out and I have to take a stand.

So, despite the wobbling of the models, my snow map today remains unchanged from the one I published last night. Again, I will say that if anything, the amounts on this map may end up a touch too high, and the entire region could end up with just an inch or so. The western edge of this system will be very tight, with a sharp line between very little snow and a moderate to heavy snow event.

Snow is still expected to develop later this morning, with nor’easter snow over the eastern Finger Lakes and snow showers from a second low in the Great Lakes further west. The snow from the nor’easter should poull out this afternoon, but additional snow from the second low will persist.

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Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Snow

The forecast becomes especially tricky over the coming days as the noreaster lifts into New England and effectively stalls while the Great Lakes low does the same.

The interactions in the moisture and energy fields between these two systems is complex, and again, I do not completely trust the models to handle it precisely.

Figuring out when and where the heavier snow squalls will be is difficult, but thankfully the overall impact of these squalls should be slight enough that they will not cause too many problems.

As things stand right now, Thursday does not look too snowy. The Figner Lakes may end up in a gap between the two systems, with snow more likely back towards Lake Erie and in northern New York.

On Friday, moisture increases and winds come off of Lake Ontario, producing a spray of lake enhanced flurries and squalls all across the area. A few inches may accumulate, especially over higher elevations, near Lake Ontario, and towards Central New York.

By Saturday, the two systems will have merged and will move off the coast of New England. A few flurries will persist, but with little if any accumulation.

A cool and potentially active weather pattern will continue into the first half of next week, but there are currently no major storm threats for the Finger Lakes.

Warmer weather may start to return to the area by late next week.

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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.). When not forecasting, he can be found working at the local library, making goat milk soap, running until his legs burn, or playing with his three young boys.

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