High Wind Warnings In Effect
The entire Finger Lakes region is under a High Wind Warning for today as strong, damaging winds are expected.
Winds are already gusty early this morning, but the worst of the wind will come as a cold front marches across the region during the morning.
Out ahead of this front, temperatures have pushed into the 50s but quickly drop back into the 40s and 30s behind the front.
The front will be marked by some showers and a surge in strong winds. By noon, the front should be east of the Finger Lakes.
Wind gusts from the southwest of 55-75 mph will develop behind the front. The strongest winds will be between Buffalo and Rochester and along the shore of Lake Ontario.
Gusts over 60 mph are likely across the western Finger Lakes and the I-90 Corridor. Further south and east, the wind gusts will top out in the 55-60 mph range.
These winds are strong enough to knock out power, take down trees, and even cause travel problems for high-profile vehicles.
As I said yesterday though, wind is extremely sensitive to geography, terrain, tree cover, and even building position, so not all locations will see these top wind gusts.
The winds will retreat from damage-causing levels this evening as gusts fall back into the 30-45 mph range.
Cold, Snow, & More Wind
As temperatures fall this afternoon, the few lingering rain showers will begin to turn to snow flurries.
Winds will turn into the west, then northwest through the overnight, setting up a connection between the Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario. A narrow but moderate to heavy band of lake effect snow will likely develop Thursday morning as a result.
This band will likely wobble around the northern and eastern Finger Lakes, never staying put in one location long enough for significant snow accumulations. A couple isolated locations could see up to two inches of snow, but most areas will just see a coating to no more than an inch.
Outside of this band, lighter flurries and squalls will also be possible.
The lake effect should move out of the area during the early afternoon as winds begin to turn towards the south again.
Wind gusts will continue to be in the 30-40 mph range throughout Thursday with temperatures in the low and mid 30s.
An area of widespread snow will move through Friday morning. The snow may fall a bit on the hard side for a couple hours with an inch or two more of accumulation.
Another round of strong winds will build in behind this snow with southwest gusts of 40-50 mph.
What About SPRING?
The weather will quiet down for this coming weekend, but it will not warm up.
Though both days will likely have a mix of sun and clouds and lighter winds, temperatures will be stuck in the 30s. Temperatures should be reaching the low 50s by this point in April, so this is a significant departure from normal.
The first half of next week does not look much better, with highs remaining in the 30s and lower 40s. A storm system will move through with some mixed precipitation, but significant snow accumulations are not expected. Neither are strong, damaging winds, thankfully.
Behind this system, the weather should start to improve. Temperatures are looking more normal towards the end of next week, then possibly well above normal next weekend before settling closer to normal for the second half of the month.
The chances for snow will continue to become less and less as we head deeper into April. Spring is coming, it is just rather slow to arrive.