Nice Friday leads to active weekend weather

finger lakes weather no-hype forecast friday march 1 2019 sunday storm
Friday will be a nice day in the Finger Lakes before light snow Saturday and steadier snow possible late Sunday. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

In Like a Lamb

Happy first day of Meteorological Spring! The first day of March will be a very nice, quiet day in the Finger Lakes.

A weak disturbance to our south brought a coating of snow to southern areas overnight, but now the sun is shining across much of the Finger Lakes.

Sunshine will continue throughout the day with a few thin clouds from time to time.

No additional precipitation will fall today, and winds will remain light from the south.

Temperatures will get a nice boost from morning lows in the teens to afternoon highs in the mid and upper 30s.

Clouds will thicken during the evening and overnight, keeping temperatures generally in the mid 20s. A few northern areas could slip into the teens during the evening if the clouds are at all delayed.

Saturday will be a cloudy day with a period of snow in the afternoon. This snow should last just a couple hours with accumulations of an inch or two.

The snow is most likely between 2-8 pm with some lighter snow showers outside of that time frame.

With temperatures in the mid 30s, roads should remain in good shape.

Sunday Storm Still Uncertain

As expected, the hype machine has cranked up for a significant snow on Sunday as the mainstream media ignores the significant difficulties and uncertainties with this event.

About the only thing that is for certain at this point is that a storm system will race from California Saturday morning to the East Coast Sunday night.

The models have been inconsistent with the track and strength of this storm. Unlike our snow storm in January, which the models consistently showed for 7-10 days prior, this event only became a factor for our region a couple days ago.

Since the original storm system will not move in from the Pacific until Saturday morning, there is a lack of observational data about the storm structure, which hurts model projections. There will only be a very small window of time where the models have a full complement of data to ingest.

Last night, the European model, which I continue to hold in high regard over all other models, jumped south with the low pressure center, resulting in just a few inches of snow for our region.

I mention this not to predict a miss from this system. On the contrary, this southward jump is precisely what I was looking for and is a classic move by the models. I fully expect the projections to creep back to the north today and early tomorrow.

No model projection has had the Finger Lakes in the heaviest snow, and I believe the likelihood of a foot or more falling to be low. Many possibilities still exist though.

As for timing, any snow that falls should arrive from the southwest during the latter half of Sunday afternoon. The heaviest snow will fall during the evening hours before ending prior to sunrise Monday. The fast-moving nature of the storm will also work against a major snow fall.

My plans are to continue watching the models today. If they continue to behave as they usually do, I should have enough confidence for a snow map and briefing Saturday morning. I may do a live video Q&A Saturday evening.

In the meantime, please watch out for continued weather hype, point it out (nicely) to your friends when they share it, and help spread sound, scientific forecasting.

Behind this system, next week is looking quite cold with areas of lake effect snow. The heaviest snows will likely remain outside of the Finger Lakes though the Syracuse area could get in on some heavier snow bands, eventually.

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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.