Strong Cold Front Arrives
A strong, yet moisture starved cold front will press through the Finger Lakes today. Strong winds behind the front will deliver the coldest air of the season.
As of 7:30 this morning, the front was crossing Lake Ontario and just entering western New York. A couple of scattered showers exist along the front, but more impressive bands of lake effect precipitation are already developing.
As winds behind the front shift from south to west, the lake effect will enhance some of the precipitation along the front. Scattered showers will therefore be possible in the Finger Lakes especially during the afternoon hours.
Those winds will gust over 40 mph at times throughout the day today.
Temperatures will climb into the upper 40s before the front arrives, but will quickly drop through the 30s this evening. New lake effect will develop on northwest winds as this happens, with a double connection of moisture off of both Lake Huron and Lake Ontario feeding precipitation over the Finger Lakes.
Rain will start to turn to snow first over the higher elevations of the eastern Finger Lakes, where up to a slushy inch could fall. A coating will then be possible across portions of the southern, then western Finger Lakes as the band of lake effect swings west then dissipates around midnight. Even lower elevations will see some flakes fly.
Dry air will move in and skies may mostly clear before dawn. This will allow temperatures to fall into the upper 20s and low 30s. All of the region will see a freeze tonight except right along lake shores. Frost is unlikely due to the dry air.
Freeze warnings have been issued for several counties in the Finger Lakes. Areas near Lake Ontario do not have freeze warnings with temperatures expected to stay just above freezing in those areas. Still, localized pockets of sub-freezing temperatures are possible, especially well inland from Lake Ontario.
Across the Southern Tier, no freeze warnings have been issued as the growing season is considered over in these areas. Many still have viable plant growth though, so take significant measures to save plant life if that is the case.
Sunshine, Then Warmer
Thursday will be a raw, cold day, but there should at least be a fair amount of sunshine.
A few clouds will still be possible from time to time, but precipitation is not expected.
Wind gusts will be between 25-35 mph, with the strongest gusts over the far eastern Finger Lakes. The wind will be from the northwest most of the day, but will end by turning to the west-southwest.
After the cold start to the day, temperatures will only warm into the low 40s for afternoon highs. A few of the higher elevations in the Southern Tier and Central New York could struggle to reach 40 degrees.
A steady southwest wind will keep temperatures from plummeting Thursday night. Overnight lows will mostly be in the low and mid 30s despite clear skies. Dewpoints will be higher, so some patchy frost will be possible.
Friday will remain sunny with just a few clouds. The wind will continue to bring warmer air in, and temperatures will push towards 60 degrees during the afternoon.
Unfortunately, the warm up will be very brief. A new weather system will swing in on Saturday with widespread scattered showers.
Winds will turn to the west and northwest and become gusty once more. Top gusts Saturday will be around 30 mph.
Morning temperatures Saturday will be in the upper 40s with highs reaching the low 50s ahead of the cold front. A quick drop back through the 40s will occur late in the afternoon and into the evening.
Scattered rain showers will develop south of Lake Ontario Saturday night. By Sunday morning, some of these will have turned to snow, mostly over higher elevations. Snow and rain showers will continue throughout Sunday and into Sunday night.
Temperatures Sunday will start in the mid 30s and will rise only into the upper 30s.
Cold, unsettled weather will continue into next week. More chances for rain and snow will be likely.