Cold air builds, sets sights on the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday november 7 2018 sun clouds near normal temperatures wind
Skies Wednesday will be mixed with more clouds to the north and more sun to the south. Temperatures should get above 50 degrees, but it may be a long time before the Finger Lakes gets that warm again. [Photo by Mike Brown]

Cold Air Prepares to Invade

Wednesday will be the last comfortable day in the Finger Lakes for quite some time as a major blitz of cold air moves into the Eastern United States.

Despite a cold front moving through the region yesterday, the cold air will not fully begin to arrive until Thursday. The Finger Lakes will enjoy one more day with near normal temperatures on Wednesday.

The biggest source of discomfort on Wednesday will be the continuation of some strong winds. Wind gusts throughout the daytime hours will once again reach or exceed 30 mph for many places.

The wind direction will start from the southwest this morning but will turn more westerly for this afternoon.

Some lake effect clouds have developed on these southwest winds this morning across the northwestern half of the Finger Lakes. These clouds will remain in place for a good part of the day but should break up some during the afternoon.

Further south and east, skies will be partly cloudy to mostly sunny.

High temperatures today will be slightly above 50 degrees which is almost right on the seasonal average.

However, the shift to a west wind will open our area to the cold air, which will bleed in from the Midwest.

finger lakes weather surface map wednesday november 7 2018 7 am
Very cold air is driving south into the middle of the United States and will work its way east over the coming days. [Click map to enlarge]
Skies Thursday will become rather cloudy and a few lake effect sprinkles or flurries will be possible, especially early in the day. Most areas will not see much if any precipitation.

Winds on Thursday will continue to come from the west, gusting to 25 mph.

High temperatures will struggle to reach 45 degrees.

Friday Storm Sets Up Cold For the Weekend and Beyond

A disorganized storm system will move towards the Finger Lakes on Friday with low pressure centers both in the Great Lakes and along the East Coast. The two lows should compete with one another, preventing either one from becoming a major storm system.

Precipitation will move in Friday morning starting as either all snow or a mix of rain and snow for much of the area. Some minor snow accumulations are possible, especially over the higher elevations of the western Southern Tier.

Precipitation will turn to all rain during the afternoon as temperatures rise into the low 40s by the evening.  However, temperatures will drop back into the low 30s before sunrise Saturday morning.

The first well organized lake effect snow event of the season will unfold for Saturday east of the Great Lakes. Several inches could fall in the western Southern Tier off Lake Erie while Lake Ontario snows stay well north of our region.

Snow showers will be most plentiful during the morning before tapering off some for the afternoon.

Saturday will be raw and windy, with gusts over 35 mph and high temperatures in the mid and upper 30s.

High pressure will build in for Sunday, limiting the lake effect to a single band off Lake Ontario. This band will be strongest early in the day and in the evening and could move into northern and eastern parts of the region with some minor accumulations.

Temperatures Sunday will start with widespread low and mid 20s and afternoon highs will struggle to get much beyond 35 degrees.

The cold air will stay through at least next week with most daily highs in the 30s to near 40 degrees.

A midweek storm system is already generating a buzz about the potential for widespread snow, but it is much, much too soon to state such claims with any real authority.

Stay tuned nonetheless.

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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.