The combination of a cold front and some lake effect will keep snow in the air on Monday though accumulations will be minimal.
Some light snow moved through during the overnight hours as low pressure moved into the Great Lakes. The main low remains back to the northwest this morning, but the widespread snow has moved east.
A few lake effect snow showers off Lake Erie are beginning to develop. While initially these may work east into the Finger Lakes, winds will turn to the southwest later this morning. Lake effect will intensify as it moves towards Buffalo.
A cold front will pick this lake effect band up this afternoon and push it east as a snow squall. Additional squalls are possible off Lake Ontario, initially starting northeast of Oswego but working further south late in the day.
Squally conditions with rapid changes in visibility and road conditions will be possible during in the middle and later part of the afternoon. Not all locations will see the heavier burst of snow and the overall intensity looks less than other, similar squalls.
Still, if you have travel plans this afternoon anywhere in Western New York, the Finger Lakes, or Central New York, be on the lookout for these bursts of snow.
Snow accumulations through this evening will be on the order of an inch or less for most. High temperatures will be in the mid 30s, which will help keep major roadways from getting too messy.
Low pressure will move out this evening, taking much of the support for lake effect snow with it.
Still, some minor lake effect flurries and squalls will be possible from far northern Cayuga County into Oswego and northern Onondaga County this evening. A couple of additional inches could fall in those locations.
The rest of the Finger Lakes should have a few flurries with little to no additional snow.
Light flurries will press south for Christmas Morning. This snow will be minor with just a light sugar coating to make everything look festive.
The chance for a few flakes will continue throughout the day. Temperatures will reach the low 30s.
All the Finger Lakes should see a White Christmas. Already, modeled snow cover shows snow on the ground region-wide. The technical definition of a White Christmas is one-inch of snow on the ground. With the snow this afternoon, the majority of the area should meet that threshold.
The Rest of the Week
Northwest winds will persist into Wednesday, meaning more lake effect snow. Like Tuesday, the snow on Wednesday will be light and scattered and should not cause any problems.
Temperatures will warm into the mid 30s on Wednesday, keeping roads mostly clear, except in areas prone to snow drifts.
Winds will swing around to the south-southeast on Thursday in anticipation of our next storm system. Skies will start with ample sunshine, but clouds should increase for the afternoon.
Precipitation will move in after midnight Thursday night. The parent low will be well to the west, so we will again end up on the warm side of the storm.
Still, as precipitation first moves in, there could be a brief icy period. This will need to be monitored.
Temperatures will jump into the 40s on Friday with a few 50s also possible. Unlike last week’s system, we will not be in the core of the warm air. Temperatures should not get as warm, nor should we see the thunderstorms and heavy rain like last week.
A colder pattern should develop as we close out 2018 and head into the new year, but the details on just how cold and what sort of snow may accompany the cold are still uncertain.