Winter Storm Details
A high impact winter storm will slam the Finger Lakes region this weekend and into Monday with heavy snow, high winds, and frigid temperatures.
When will the snow start? End?
Snow will move into the Finger Lakes during the midday hours on Saturday. The snow will arrive from southwest to northeast.
A couple hours of light snow are likely before the intensity begins to ramp up during the latter part of the afternoon.
By the evening hours, heavy snow will be falling and will continue into the early morning hours Sunday. Snowfall rates of 1-3 inches per hour will be common.
The widespread, heavy snow will end shortly after sunrise Sunday morning, but a spray of lake effect flurries and squalls will keep the snow falling at a lighter rate.
Lake effect will persist through Sunday, Sunday night, and into Monday morning. Finally, Monday afternoon, the snow should end.
How much will fall?
During the storm, I expect most, if not all the Finger Lakes to see at least 16 inches of snow. Many areas will see 20-24 inches, particularly near Lake Ontario and in a stripe from the central Southern Tier, through the eastern Finger Lakes, and into Central New York.
With any major winter storm, there are local variations due to small micro-bands that set up and produce even more snow. Therefore, I do think a few isolated places could approach 30 inches with this storm.
Likewise, there are bound to be a few places that under-perform a bit. Such is the nature of large, powerful storm systems. They are not nearly as neat and uniform as snow maps make them seem.
It will be very difficult to measure the snow as winds will increase on Sunday. The snow will be very light and fluffy, so it will be easily blown around.
I am aware that these amounts are higher than other local predictions. Since this is a no-hype guaranteed forecast, my forecast is based completely on how I think the storm will evolve. With our storm in November, my predictions were higher than other local forecasters…and they still ended up being a bit too low. Whether that is the case this time or not remains to be seen.
Temperatures will be cold during the storm and frigid as we transition to lake effect snow.
Expect mid teens Saturday afternoon dropping to the low teens by Sunday morning. Temperatures will continue to drop Sunday, ending up in the single digits Sunday afternoon and below zero Sunday night into Monday morning.
High temperatures on Monday will struggle to get beyond 5 degrees.
Winds will gust over 30 mph starting on Sunday and could approach 40 mph on Monday. These strong winds will cause white out conditions, very large snow drifts, and will make some rural roads nearly impassible.
The combination of the wind and cold temperatures will also produce dangerous wind chills. The coldest wind chills will be early Monday morning. Wind chills of -20 to -30 degrees will be possible, especially over higher elevations through the Southern Tier and Central New York.
Frostbite can occur in as little as 15-20 minutes with wind chills that low. This could pose a significant risk should travelers end up in a ditch, both to themselves and those working to get them unstuck.
Some sporadic power outages may be possible, but since the snow will be light and fluffy, this should be an isolated and not widespread occurrence.
What to Expect from FLX Weather
My goal is to have the most comprehensive and personalized coverage of this winter storm.
I will be hosting another live video session this evening around 8 PM to answer your questions and relay any new information that has come in.
You can also send me your questions at any time via email, commenting below, or Facebook Messenger.
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