Phase II of complex system comes late Friday

finger lakes weather forecast friday march 22 2019 snow lake effect winter storm warning winter weather advisory snow map
Travel will be easy going through much of Friday and Saturday. Friday night is when some areas will see difficult travel conditions while others see little impact.

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Weather System Updates

Heavy precipitation from the first phase of this weather system shifted east of the Finger Lakes last night before turning to snow.

Rain and snow showers do still exist early this morning along the I-81 Corridor with heavy accumulation limited to areas east of the Interstate.

Last night, I presented three possible scenarios for this morning. What is actually happening is close to what I labeled the “most likely” scenario with a lean towards the “least snowy’ scenario.

Low pressure is centered near Long Island this morning and will push north into New England. A second piece of energy is dropping south through the Great Lakes and will feed into the low.

Cold air and moisture will wrap around the low into the Finger Lakes tonight, leading to the second phase of this event.

Please note that I am very deliberately not calling this a “storm” in this post. Now that the threat from Phase I has passed without much impact, most of the Finger Lakes will not be too bad off after Phase II, either.

Weather Conditions Friday

finger lakes weather forecast snow map friday march 22 2019
The heaviest snow amounts Friday night will be just southeast of Lake Ontario and in the higher elevations southeast of Syracuse. Little to no snow will accumulate across the Southern Tier. This map was updated from the map published Thursday evening to only show snow from the second phase of this event. No other changes were made except to remove Thursday night’s possible snow. Click to enlarge.

With the way the two pieces of energy are aligned, a wedge of dry air will be situated over the Finger Lakes for the morning hours and into the early afternoon.

During this time, a few stray flurries or a rain shower will be possible. Travel conditions will remain in good shape.

Temperatures will push into the upper 30s and even low 40s. A northwest wind will begin to pick up, gusting over 30 mph this morning.

As the two pieces of energy begin to merge later this afternoon, moisture will increase over our area. Snow showers will become more common as the afternoon goes on, but temperatures will hold in the mid and upper 30s.

Winds will also continue to increase with gusts of 40-45 mph during the afternoon and continuing into the overnight.

Snow will become more widespread and heavier this evening as temperatures fall to around 30 degrees and atmospheric moisture peaks. Localized snowfall rates around one-inch per hour will be possible in eastern Wayne and northern Cayuga County and in the hills southeast of Syracuse.

Elsewhere, a wide variety of conditions will be present, as is typical in lake effect events. Areas that typically see heavy snow on a northwest wind will see heavy snow tonight. Areas that often see little to no snow will again see little to no snow.

Weekend Weather

Dry air will wrap back into the Finger Lakes Saturday morning, bringing an end to the lake effect around or before the sun rises.

Winds will continue to gust over 30 mph throughout Saturday, so areas of drifting may make a few back roads slick.

Much of Saturday will be sunny, but cold, with highs mostly in the mid to perhaps upper 30s. The wind will make it feel like the 20s, however.

Winds will turn to the southwest Saturday evening and become light. The southwest wind will keep temperatures from falling beyond the mid 20s despite mostly clear skies overnight.

Sunday will have a mix of sunshine and cloud cover. No precipitation will fall.

High temperatures will range between 45-50 degrees, melting any snow that does not disappear with Saturday’s sunshine.

Light snow will be possible early Monday as cold air returns for a brief two-day stay. By Wednesday, temperatures will return to above normal levels.

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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.

4 Responses

  1. Dave Mulvey

    No matter what I do, I cannot get my FLXweather to go to my Inbox… it always goes to Junk Mail! Solution?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      What email provider do you use (i.e. gmail, yahoo, etc.)? Have you added fo******@fl********.com to your address book or white list?

  2. Lance Sprague

    Thanks as usual for your great forecasting Drew

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      The pleasure is mine! 😀