Monday rain leads to prolonged snow event

finger lakes weather forecast monday november 26 2018 rain snow event
Rain will fall on Monday, but cold air and moisture behind the storm will bring prolonged snow for the middle of the week.

Storm System Moves In, Stalls Out

An area of low pressure will track into Western New York today, spreading rain across the region.

The radar is already showing rain this morning across the Finger Lakes, but most of this is not yet reaching the ground. Dry air near the surface is causing the rain to evaporate, but this dry air will erode away.

Rain will fall from the late morning through the afternoon. Most of the Finger Lakes should see around or less than a half-inch of rain.

Temperatures today will rise from the upper 30s this morning into the low 40s this afternoon.

A second area of low pressure will develop off the Mid-Atlantic coast tonight and will become the primary low as it moves into New England tomorrow morning. The low will then stall over northern New England on Wednesday before drifting east on Thursday.

As this happens, colder moist air will wrap around the low and into the Finger Lakes, resulting in a prolonged period of snowfall. This snow will be a combination of snow from the low pressure system and enhancement off the Great Lakes.

The snow should fall steadily through the day Tuesday and Wednesday before tapering off on Thursday.

Temperatures on Tuesday will be in the low and mid 30s while Wednesday should mostly be in the low 30s.

The variations of temperature, their close proximity to the freezing mark, the long duration of the snow, and the enhancement from the Great Lakes makes for a very difficult forecast with large differences over the region.

Snow Map Explained

finger lakes weather forecast snow map monday november 26 2018
Snow amounts over the three day period from Tuesday-Thursday will vary greatly across the Finger Lakes. This is a low confidence approximation of how the snow may end up getting distributed. Click the map to enlarge.

The heaviest snow seems most likely in the hills south of Syracuse. Here, the winds will be aligned best for heavier snow bands while the higher elevations will provide colder temperatures for the snow to accumulate easier.

From Tuesday through Thursday, over a foot could fall in some of these areas.

A widespread swath of 4-8 inches will be possible along and north of I-90, as well as in the Bristol Hills near and south of Canadaigua and the higher elevations east of Cayuga Lake.

The lowest amounts will be through the central Finger Lakes and across the Southern Tier. These areas will have a combination of lighter snow and temperatures not conducive for snow accumulations.

Travel conditions will vary by location and time. Overnight periods and higher elevations will have the best chance for snow accumulating on roadways. During the daytime, most main roads should remain just wet.

The amounts on the map are approximate total accumulations over the entire three-day period. So, for areas that are only expected to see an inch or two, this will be a minor event. Even the areas that could see significant snow will only see a few inches each day.

Once the snow tapers off on Thursday,  warmer weather will move back in for the weekend with more rain possible.

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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 four young boys. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.