Bitter cold Thursday, weekend warm-up

finger lakes weather forecast thursday january 31 2019 wind chill cold wind gust blowing snow
Winds will kick up again this morning and continue into the afternoon, causing low wind chills and blowing snow. [Photo by Scott Montreuil]

Dangerous Cold Continues

Wind Chill values this morning across the region are being reported anywhere from around -20 degrees to -41 degrees at the Hartsville Mesonet Station in Steuben County.

As the sun rises this morning, the wind will increase. Gusts will return to the 30-40 mph range. Like yesterday afternoon, winds will be from the west-southwest.

Much of the region will see sunny skies or a mix of sun and clouds. Temperatures will rise above zero and into the mid and upper single digits.

Wind chills will improve but will still be between -10 and -20 degrees throughout the day.

Blowing and drifting snow will continue to make travel difficult in rural areas. Road salt will remain ineffective today with the cold temperatures.

A little lake effect snow from Lake Erie may sneak into Livingston or even far western Ontario County. Should this even happen, accumulations would be minor.

Lake effect snow off Lake Ontario remains strong and intense to the east of the lake. Travel along I-81 towards the North Country will be extremely hazardous. That lake effect band will remain north of our region throughout its lifespan.

Skies will remain mostly clear tonight, leading to another cold start on Friday. Temperatures will be a bit warmer, with most areas only a few degrees below zero or just above zero. Winds will continue to be in the -10 to -20 degree range.

Warming Up

Friday will be another quiet, sunny day across the Finger Lakes. High pressure will sit directly over the area, reducing the lake effect and bringing only gentle breezes.

Temperatures will still be well below normal with highs in the mid teens. With the sunshine though, this should be enough for rock salt to start clearing the roads.

A layer of thin cloud cover will work in Friday night and a south wind will develop. Many areas will drop to or just below zero before temperatures start to rise before dawn.

The south wind and at least filtered sunshine will drive temperatures up. A few places may even get above 40 degrees.

A few rain showers, perhaps mixing with a little sleet, will develop overnight Saturday as a warm front begins to take shape. These will be light and should push out of the region by or shortly after sunrise.

Some sunshine will try to work out Sunday afternoon from the southwest. Where it does, high temperatures will push into the upper 40s at least. The further north and east, the cooler it will be on Sunday, with upper 30s in the Syracuse area.

Next week will have a few chances for rain and possibly some more wintry precipitation late in the week. Temperatures will start very warm, then retreat closer to normal values.

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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.