White Christmas still possible despite very warm Friday

finger lakes weather forecast friday december 21 2018 warm rain cold front thunder snow white christmas
Temperatures will be extremely warm on Friday, but snow showers are likely overnight with a few more chances for minor snow into Christmas on Tuesday. [Photo by Nanci McCraine]

Something for Everyone

The weather over the next 24-36 hours will have a little bit of something for everyone in the Finger Lakes, whether you like warm or cold, sun, rain, snow, or even thunder.

A large storm system moved in last night with widespread rain. Most of the rain has now moved to the east.

Dryer, very warm air is rotating north into the Finger Lakes. Temperatures are already in the 50s this morning before the sun is up.

A few scattered showers will remain possible through the morning and into the early afternoon. These will be increasingly likely the further east you are.

Some breaks of sun will move in as well from the late morning into the early afternoon.

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Temperatures will reach the upper 50s and low 60s for much of the Finger Lakes during this time.

A band of rain will then develop over the western Finger Lakes as cold air pushes back. Initially, this band should be mostly west of Canandaigua Lake, but it will creep east this evening and overnight. Some rumbles of thunder will be possible during the late afternoon.

Rain will turn to snow this evening from west to east. Areas east of Cayuga Lake may not turn over to snow until after 3 am tonight.

A coating of snow is likely for most areas by dawn with an inch or two possible over more western areas. Snow accumulations will likely vary from location to location and will be partially elevation driven.

Snow Chances Leading to Christmas

Flurries will linger east of Cayuga Lake into Saturday afternoon as some limited lake effect kicks up.

Saturday will otherwise be cold and windy. Temperatures will hover near 30 degrees much of the day. With northwest wind gusts over 30 mph, it will feel more like 20 degrees.

Sunday will start with a few breaks of sunshine, but clouds will increase again for the afternoon. Temperatures will start in the mid 20s and will reach the mid 30s.

Light snow will move in during the evening and persist into Monday morning. Only an inch or so of accumulation is expected.

Lake effect will kick up behind this system on Monday. The heaviest snow will stay north and west of the Finger Lakes with several inches falling due east of the Great Lakes. Some squalls of Lake Erie may drift into the Finger Lakes though.

Winds will turn more northwesterly Monday night, sending snow off Lake Ontario into the northern and eastern Finger Lakes. Some of this snow may linger into early Christmas morning.

While each individual chance for snow will have minimal accumulations, combined, some areas could see three or four inches by Christmas morning.

Another shot of light snow is then possible on Wednesday again with accumulation of an inch or less.

Christmas Eve temperatures will reach the mid 30s while Christmas Day will top out near 30 degrees. Wednesday will reach the low 30s.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Bill Calhoun
    |

    The Weather Service is calling for a Flood Watch and inches of rain for Lansing, NY. Do you think we will get that much rain?

    Thank you!

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      I think the heaviest, on the order of an inch or so, ends up west of Lansing. That said, there may be a few localized areas with heavier amounts if thunderstorms do in fact develop.