Snow tapers this morning; focus turns to lake effect, end of week storm

finger lakes weather forecast snow no hype weather lake effect wednesday morning
After the first widespread snow of the season, lake effect squalls will impact the Wednesday morning commute in and around Syracuse with another widespread snow possible early Friday. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Storm Leaves Light Accumulations

The first hyped up widespread winter weather event for the Finger Lakes is already winding down after leaving just light snow accumulations across the region.

The back edge of the precipitation is lifting north through Pennsylvania this morning while light snow lingers across the Finger Lakes.

finger lakes weather surface map weather radar tuesday noreaster november 13 2018
As of 7:25 am Tuesday, November 13, 2018, snow was still falling across the Finger Lakes but should quickly come to an end this morning. Click map to enlarge.

Over the next few hours, the snow should end leaving cloudy skies and a stray flurry or two for the late morning and early afternoon hours.

Little to no additional accumulations are expected.

Road conditions vary across the region but should improve quickly this morning as temperatures rise from around the freezing mark into the mid 30s. High temperatures should be near 40 degrees early this afternoon.

During the latter half of the afternoon, cold air will intensify as northwest winds increase. Gusts of 20-30 mph will develop and continue into the overnight.

A spray of lake effect flurries and a couple squalls will develop. The commute home tonight may have some briefly reduced visibilities, but should not have many problems.

Isolated Heavy Lake Effect Wednesday Morning

For almost all the Finger Lakes, the weather will turn quiet during the overnight and into Wednesday morning. Partial sunshine is likely to start the day with chilly temperatures in the low and mid 20s.

From western Wayne County into Syracuse, it will be a very different story as a band of heavy lake effect snow develops.

finger lakes weather forecast snow map wednesday november 14 2018 morning lake effect syracuse morning commute
A narrow but heavy band of lake effect snow will develop overnight and persist into Wednesday morning, making for a difficult morning commute into and around Syracuse., northern Cayuga, and western Wayne county. Click the map to enlarge.

Conditions are primed for several hours of 1-2 inch per hour snow rates coinciding with the morning commute. Traveling into and around Syracuse will be difficult Wednesday morning.

The lake effect will begin to weaken during the second half of the morning and may drop south during the early afternoon hours as it dissipates. The brief burst of snow could coat the ground and reduce visibilities but would be short lived.

Snow accumulations within the core of the band should exceed 8 inches, but stay under a foot. Snow totals will drop off drastically outside of the core.

High temperatures Wednesday will struggle to reach 32 degrees. Wind gusts over 30 mph from the northwest will make it feel like the 20s.

Quiet conditions will develop Wednesday evening and continue through much of Thursday. Some areas may drop into the teens Wednesday night.

Next Storm System Friday

Another coastal storm system will move in Thursday night and Friday.

This storm will have more cold air to work with than this morning’s storm, so there is greater potential for snow accumulations.

However, the path of the storm is still up in the air and could easily only land a glancing blow to the region.

Most of the precipitation looks to come during the second half of Thursday night and early Friday morning. The heaviest snow will be more likely for areas further east with lighter snow to the west.

Early projections seem to be in the 2-5 inch range with an upper limit of 5-8 inches. If there is an area of 5-8 inches, it would likely be rather small.

It remains too early to nail down specifics for this system, so be very wary of hyped up headlines and premature maps and model images. Confidence in the storm evolution should increase significantly over the next 24-36 hours, so be sure to check back on Wednesday and Thursday.

Behind this system, I expect more cold air. Areas of lake effect are likely but should remain primarily out of the Finger Lakes region.

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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.). Drew and his wife have three young boys and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.