Quiet Monday before Tuesday Snow

finger lakes weather forecast monday janauary 28 2019 winter storm watch snow lake effect wind chill bitter cold
Monday will be a quiet day in the Finger Lakes, but the rest of the week will be busy with snow and extreme cold. [Photo by Helen Heizyk]

Winter Storm Watches

Monday will be a sunny, quiet day across the Finger Lakes, but several areas are under Winter Storm Watches for either lake effect snow or snow from a storm system.

Temperatures are starting the day in the single digits beneath mixed skies. Some lake enhances cloud cover stretches across the northern areas while much of the southern part of the region is clear.

Skies will continue to be mixed this morning but with a good deal of sunshine.

Winds will be gentle today from the east before turning to the south and increasing tonight.

Temperatures will reach into the mid and upper teens this afternoon before rising into the mid 20s overnight.

By Tuesday morning, light snow will start to fall across the region as an area of low pressure works into eastern Canada.

On its own, this low will not be capable of much snow. A general 1-2 inches should fall across the region through the early afternoon.

It will be windy though with gusts reaching 35 mph from the south.

A secondary low pressure will then develop along the coast of New England Tuesday afternoon. A band of heavier snow will work into Central New York for the afternoon and evening hours.

There is a lot of variation in the models with this system and forecasting the edge of an area of precipitation is always tricky.

My feeling is that the heaviest snow stays east of I-81 and out of the Finger Lakes. A couple inches of additional accumulation will be possible east of Seneca Lake. There is a small chance these areas could see over 4 inches of snow.

Winter Storm Watches have been issued for the eastern Finger Lakes and Central New York. These will likely be changed to advisories at some point today as the system draws nearer.

The snow will taper off quickly late Tuesday evening as the storm pulls away.

Over the far western Finger Lakes, the concern is more for lake effect snow. Some locally heavy snow will start to develop northeast of Lake Erie Tuesday evening before shifting a bit further south for Wednesday and Thursday.

finger lakes weather forecast snow map monday january 28 2019 tuesday janaury 29 2019
Tuesday’s snow will be heaviest to the east of the Finger Lakes, but several inches will still be possible over eastern areas. Click to enlarge.
finger lakes weather forecast snow lake effect snow winter storm watch
Winter storm watches are in effect for the far eastern Finger Lakes for Tuesday’s system and the far western Finger Lakes for lake effect snow Tuesday into Thursday.

Hazardous Cold

Behind this system, an arctic blast in the Midwest will spill east into our region.

By Wednesday morning, temperatures will be back in the single digits or slightly below zero. Temperatures will rise very little during the day Wednesday before slipping below zero Wednesday evening.

By Thursday morning, temperatures across the Finger Lakes will range from -5 to -10 degrees across the northern Finger Lakes and between -10 and -20 degrees across the south.

It will also remain windy throughout this period, resulting in hazardous wind chill values.

On Wednesday, wind chills will be below -20 degrees for areas west of Canandaigua Lake where 40-50 mph wind gusts will be possible. Further east, wind gusts will be in the 35-40 mph range with wind chills between -10 and -20 degrees.

Wind gusts of 30 mph will be possible Thursday morning as well, producing widespread wind chills of -25 to -35 degrees. Frostbite can occur in as little as 10-15 minutes in wind chills that cold.

Wind chills during the day Thursday will continue to be as low as -20 or -25 degrees with highs just getting above zero and wind gusts over 30 mph continuing.

Wind chills will not come back above zero degrees until Saturday afternoon with highs Friday in the low teens.

These winds will be primarily from the west and southwest.

Throughout this period, skies will be a mix of sun and clouds. Lake effect snow east of the Great Lakes will be heavy, but the Finger Lakes should remain mostly snow free.

The bitter cold will retreat this weekend with near normal temperatures and little chance for precipitation during the first week of February.

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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.