Turning colder and blustery as front brings snow showers Wednesday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday january 16 2019 snow showers cold front windy temperatures
Scattered snow showers are likely on Wednesday, especially during the afternoon as a cold front moves through the Finger Lakes. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Small shots of snow Wednesday, Thursday night

A cold front will move through the Finger Lakes this afternoon, delivering cold air, gusty winds, and snow showers.

Out ahead of the front, the Finger Lakes are quiet at the start of Wednesday. Temperatures range between 25-30 degrees but will jump into the low and mid 30s this morning.

A few flurries out ahead of the front will be possible this morning, but no accumulation is expected.

By noon, the front will be crossing Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. More substantial snow showers will be just ahead of the front and will move through the Finger Lakes during the afternoon.

These snow showers will be capable of brief periods of moderate snow that may coat some lesser traveled roads. Main roads should stay mostly just wet this afternoon. Visibility will also be reduced somewhat, but not enough to cause travel issues.

The band of snow showers should not last more than an hour or so in any given location. Total accumulations to will be under an inch.

Winds gusts of 30-35 mph will blow throughout the day, starting from the southwest and then turning northwest as the front passes this afternoon. Temperatures will drop into the upper 20s by the late afternoon as cold air works in on the northwest wind.

The blustery winds will die off tonight and only some lake effect cloud cover will prevent another very cold night. Temperatures will be down into the teens Thursday morning with a mix of sun and those lake effect clouds.

Thursday will have increasing clouds early as winds turn to the southeast ahead of the next small system. A few flurries may work in during the afternoon with a better chance for light snow through the evening and overnight.

Snow accumulations should be around an inch or two before tapering to flurries by Friday morning.

Temperatures Thursday will reach the mid 20s during the day, drop slightly during the evening and then rise overnight towards 30 degrees. Friday will then warm into the mid 30s with cloudy skies.

Weekend Storm Tidbits

The post I made Monday night cautioning against premature forecasts and outlining the timeline of information this week still rings true Wednesday morning.

There is virtually no doubt at this point that a significant storm system will develop, but the intensity and track remain up for debate.

While there are strong signals that the Finger Lakes will be impacted heavily from this event, it is still not a certainty.

The energy that will spawn this storm system remains out over the Pacific Ocean where observational data is extremely sparse. As this energy works in over the Western United States tomorrow, the models will have a lot of extra information to work with.

Until that time, I continue to strongly caution against using the maps and model images that continue to circulate the internet. Fluctuations from run-to-run of even the same model continue to vary by anywhere from 50 to 300 miles, making it impossible to accurately make any predictions at this time.

Please, if you have yet to read my post from Monday evening, do so and share it with those who continue to be tricked into (or freely chose to) sharing hype.

At this time, I am uncertain if I will have enough confidence for a first snow map Thursday evening or if it will wait for Friday. Stay tuned.

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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.

  1. Debbie Curtis

    Thank you for your very sane, reasonable forecasts!