Unsettled weather into the Weekend

finger lakes weather forecast friday march 29 2019 weekend weather rain snow wind temperatures cold front warm front
The next 48 hours will be a wild ride in the Finger Lakes with large temperatures swings and periods of precipitation. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Rainy, then Warm, then Snow

The weather over the next 48 hours will be full of changes for the Finger Lakes.

Showers this morning are associated with a front that pressing south but will stall out over Pennsylvania. Two small areas of low pressure along this front are leading to two areas of showers.

The first and smaller of these areas is already moving east out of the region. The second, larger area of rain will clip the southern half of the region through the morning. The chances for rain will drop after noon, though a stray shower cannot be ruled out.

finger lakes weather surface map friday march 29 2019 7 am
The surface weather map (7AM, Friday March 29, 2019) shows two batches of precipitation associated with low pressure waves along a slow moving frontal boundary. This front will sag south today, only to shoot back north early Saturday, then move through once more Saturday night as a cold front. Click to enlarge.

The front itself is located just north of this area of precipitation. The result will be an interesting spread of temperatures across three distinct zones.

First, areas along and north of I-90 may break into some sunshine this afternoon, helping push temperatures there to the low 50s. Highs may also reach the low 50s across portions of the Southern Tier, mostly from Corning eastward, where the colder air of the front does not quite reach.

In between, an area of mid and upper 40s will be likely thanks to more clouds this afternoon and being near or north of the front.

Temperatures will fall back into the low 40s during the first part of the overnight for the entire region. The front will then move back north after midnight with a few showers. Temperatures should jump into the upper 40s by sunrise for areas south of I-90.

A few on and off showers will be possible throughout Saturday, along with a break or two of brief sunshine.

A strong south wind will push temperatures into the low and mid 60s during the afternoon. Wind gusts will be strongest over higher elevations, where 40-45 mph gusts will be possible. Lower elevations will have gusts of 30-40 mph and areas along the shore of Lake Ontario may not quite gust to 30 mph.

Waves of low pressure moving along the front will cause the front to take on a north-south orientation, which will slowly move east as a cold front. As one such low moves along the front Saturday evening, a band of heavier precipitation will set up just west of the Finger Lakes with rain turning to snow.

Some accumulation of the snow may occur over Western New York, but the low should pass by the time the front enters into the Finger Lakes after midnight. Rain will still change to snow, but precipitation amounts will be lighter.

A coating of snow will be possible for many areas and some higher elevations could see a slushy inch. This remains slightly uncertain but is by far the most plausible scenario.

Temperatures will make a rapid drop from the low 50s to the low 30s as the front passes. Winds will turn to the northwest and remain gusty.

Sunday will be rather cloudy and chilly with highs in the mid and upper 30s and wind chills 5-10 degrees colder. Some lake effect snow may develop late in the afternoon across the I-90 Corridor, influenced by both Lake Ontario and the Georgian Bay off Lake Huron. Accumulations should be minimal.

New Week’s Weather

Monday will be another cold, raw day as gusty northwest winds continue. Highs will struggle to get beyond the mid 30s. Clouds should dissipate, however, leaving sunny skies in place.

High pressure will move east off the coast of New England on Tuesday as an impressive storm system takes shape over the Southeast.

Some thin clouds on the fringe of this system will filter our sunshine, but temperatures will get a bit of boost from a south wind. Look for highs in the mid 40s to the south with upper 40s to near 50s to the north.

Wednesday is uncertain as the storm system moves northeast. The most likely path is for the system to head out to sea, but if the high pressure system is slower to move out, it could block the low further to the west. Do not be surprised, or alarmed, if hyped up rumors start to fly — this system is way too far out still.

Temperatures should return to the 50s for the second half of next week and beyond, but there seems to be an abnormally large spread in the model ensembles, meaning everything from well above normal to slightly below normal temperatures will continue to be on the table as we head well into April.

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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.