Winter Storm Warnings Issued for the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast winter storm warning snow storm snow amounts
Winter Storm Warnings are now in effect for nearly all of the Finger Lakes with heavy snow expected from late this afternoon through the overnight. Most areas should see between 6-10 inches with a few higher amounts.

Storm Updates: Thursday Morning

The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings for most of the Finger Lakes region in anticipation of an early season snow storm that will begin this afternoon.

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Confidence has increased overnight and there is now good agreement among the models on the storm development and evolution of the temperatures aloft.

Most major models now are in the same neighborhood as the European models, which I relied on heavily in making my forecasts yesterday. The European itself has changed little overnight with just typical small variations between model runs.

I, therefore, am not changing my forecast at all this morning and will continue to ride with what I have been saying.

Here are the details you need to know for this storm.

Storm Timeline

Snow will overspread the region from southwest to northeast today. Precipitation should stretch from Rochester to Ithaca to Binghamton around 3 pm and will be over the entire region before 5 pm.

The snow will quickly become heavy by the evening commute. With temperatures in the upper 20s, roads will become slick.

Snowfall rates will approach or exceed one-inch per hour by 6 pm. These heavy snowfall rates will continue into the overnight.

There is a small chance for a little sleet to mix in, primarily over Central New York during the evening. Most areas should remain all snow.

Snowfall rates will start to decline after 3 am and most areas should have nothing more than a few lingering flurries by 7 am.

Scattered rain and snow showers will continue throughout Friday. An area of steadier, mostly light snow may work through during the late afternoon and evening hours Friday. Quiet weather is then expected for the weekend.

Storm Impacts

finger lakes weather snow map thursday november 15 2018
Snow totals for most of the Finger Lakes will exceed 6 inches while southeastern parts of the region could approach a foot. Click the map to enlarge.

Widespread significant snow amounts will result from this storm system.

The best chance for double-digit snow totals will exist across the eastern Southern Tier and southeastern Finger Lakes. Locations such as Bath, Elmira, Ithaca, and Cortland all have a reasonable shot at 10 inches of snow or more.

Snow totals should taper off quickly to the north and west. Rochester and Batavia should see 4 or 5 inches. Dansville, Canandaigua, Geneva, Auburn, and Syracuse will fall in the 6-8 inch range.

Both the Thursday evening and Friday morning commutes will be impacted by this event.

Snow will fall at an increasing rate Thursday evening with road conditions on the decline. If possible, leaving a couple hours early is advisable. Otherwise, be prepared for slick roads. Slow down and take it easy.

Travel will become very difficult overnight with heavy snow falling at rates that plows will have a hard time keeping up with.

The snow will be ending by the Friday morning commute, but roads will still be slick and treacherous. If possible, delaying the Friday morning commute several hours would be wise.

Winds with this storm will be light, so power outages are not a major concern. The snow will be heavy and wet, so use caution shoveling and take frequent breaks.

Road conditions will improve Friday during the late morning and into the afternoon as temperatures work above freezing and precipitation becomes spotty and light.

Further Information

» Interactive Weather Radar

» Zip-Code Forecasts

» Ask Drew a Question

I will likely do a live video update this afternoon or evening.

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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.