Localized but intense lake effect snow for Wednesday Morning Commute

finger lakes weather forecast lake effect snow wednesday morning march 6 2019 travel conditions syracuse
Lake effect snow will have a high impact on the morning commute across the northeastern Finger Lakes, including the Syracuse area. Those traveling to Syracuse should give themselves plenty of extra time. Click to enlarge.

Lake Effect Snow Update

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for Onondaga, northern Cayuga, and Wayne counties for areas of heavy lake effect snow.

This blog post is an update from Tuesday morning’s post, which discussed the possibility of areas of heavy snow, but was still uncertain exactly where the band would set up.

While some uncertainty remains, it seems increasingly likely that the morning commute will be most difficult from northern Wayne County, into northern Cayuga County, and through much of Onondaga County, including Syracuse.

Within the lake effect snow band, snow fall rates will exceed one-inch per hour. This heavy snow will be very fluffy and prone to blowing and drifting with winds gusting to 30 mph. Near white out conditions are likely.

Furthermore, temperatures during the morning commute will be in the low and mid teens which will reduce the effectiveness of rock salt. Road crews within the band will have a difficult time keeping even major routes, including I-90 and I-81 clear.

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The band itself will likely wobble around through the morning, possibly heading as far north as the Oswego County line or as far south as northeastern Seneca, central Cayuga, and northern Cortland counties.

Travel conditions in these areas will vary but could be difficult at times.

Flurries and a few squalls will drift through portions of the remainder of the Finger Lakes. Some secondary roads could become slick, but main roads should remain in decent shape.

Little to no snow is expected through much of the western and southern Finger Lakes and Southern Tier, including Penn Yan and Ithaca.

The snow band should break up some during the midday and early afternoon hours, but occasional squalls will remain likely across the northern Finger Lakes.

By the evening commute, the lake effect snow should move north out of the Finger Lakes, making for a smooth trip home.

Please use caution if traveling in areas impacted by snow. Slow down, use headlights, and allow yourself plenty of extra travel time.

Total snow accumulations will likely vary widely depending on how the band wobbles around. Within the core of heaviest snow as much as a foot is possible. This is most possible in the areas marked in red on the briefing map at the top of this blog post.

Outside of the areas shaded orange, accumulations should be minimal to nonexistent.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Glenn Munson

    Hey Drew – I think that the keys you picked up on our street may be Renee, the mail lady’s.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thanks Glenn!