Multi-Day snow event prompts winter weather alerts

Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for much but not all of the Finger Lakes. Moderate snow accumulations and blowing snow will make travel tricky at times.

Breaking Down What to Expect and When

Low pressure is organizing over New England this morning. Cool, moist air wrapping around the low will bring snow to the Finger Lakes throughout Tuesday, Wednesday, and into early Thursday.

Here are the details on what to expect during this long duration event.

Tuesday, November 27

Finger lakes weather forecast snow map tuesday november 27 2018

Snow totals only through midnight Tuesday. Additional snow will fall Wednesday.

Precipitation has turned over to snow across the Finger Lakes after Monday’s rain. A few places near Lake Ontario may be holding onto rain this morning but should change over to snow quickly this morning.

Periods of snow will persist all day and into the evening and overnight hours. Subtle details in the weather pattern and elevation will determine where the heaviest snow falls.

Winds over Lake Erie are blowing from west to east. Very heavy lake effect snow will fall in the favored snow belts south of Buffalo. Traveling I-90 and I-86/17 in southwestern New York will be very difficult today.

Snow off Lake Erie will spread east into the Finger Lakes where it will be aided by rises in elevation. Locally heavier snow amounts are thus expected over the Bristol Hills and the higher elevations to the east of Cayuga Lake. Snow amounts of 2-4 inches are possible here through midnight tonight.

Meanwhile, winds over Lake Ontario will become more northwesterly. This will set up a collision zone where the winds meet near or north of I-90 between Rochester and Syracuse.

This zone will experience heavier snow as a result of this front-like feature setting up. This will especially be the case from the late afternoon through the evening and overnight hours. Snow amounts of 4-6 inches with locally higher amounts will be possible through midnight.

The Southern Tier and lower elevations through the central Finger Lakes will see snow today, but accumulations will be minimal.

Temperatures today will be no warmer than 35 degrees. Higher elevations will hover near or below freezing. Road conditions will deteriorate first in rural higher elevations. Slick roads there can be expected already this morning.

Most major roads should remain just wet through the mid-afternoon. As the snow ramps up later in the afternoon and temperatures fall, road conditions will worsen. Travel through the northern areas and higher elevations this evening may become rather tricky.

Wednesday, November 28

Wednesday will bring more of the same to the Finger Lakes. Snow will again fall throughout the day.

Winds will become more northwesterly, increasing the influence of Lake Ontario. Lake Erie will still throw moisture into the region.

Winds off Lake Erie will still be a bit more westerly than off Lake Ontario. While the impact of the different wind directions will be much less than on Tuesday, the snow may be heavier over the Bristol Hills and eastern Finger Lakes than it would have been without this feature.

The heaviest snow will remain along and north of I-90 where snow will fall all day. In particular, a band from Rochester to Auburn to Tully could see steady moderate to heavy snow.

The Southern Tier once again will primarily see light snow with minimal accumulations.

Snow intensities should drop Wednesday evening as conditions for lake effect become less ideal. Still, at least one band of squalls should continue into Thursday morning.

Temperatures Wednesday will mostly be near or below freezing. Rural and secondary roads will be difficult to travel, and some main roads may be sloppy as well.

Throughout both Tuesday and Wednesday, winds will gust over 30 mph. This will cause blowing and drifting of the snow, reducing visibility and causing slick roads.

Take Home Messages

Given the long duration of this event, snow totals will be significant. Travel conditions will be tricky, so use caution, slow down, and use headlights. Blowing snow will add to the hazards.

However, all in all, it is just a moderate event typical of winter in the Finger Lakes.

With a little caution and common sense, most of the region should be able to continue with day-to-day life without too many inconveniences and interruptions.

A nice warm up this weekend awaits on the back side of this weather pattern. Highs on Sunday should be able to push into the 50s.

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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.

3 Responses

  1. Mel solomon

    I enjoy reading your forecasts. We’ll said.
    Thank you.
    Mel Solomon
    Cayuga heights

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you, Mel!

  2. John Gregoire

    1.6 inches snow overnight and snowing heavily near Mecklenburg. Last 24 hrs saw .81 in moisture.