Cloudy start to chilly week

finger lakes weather forecast monday november 4 2019 clouds warm front rain cold front late week snow
The first of two weather systems this week will bring clouds and some showers Monday and Tuesday. There is a decent chance for late week snow, but uncertainty in the details remains high. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Small Early Weak System

The Finger Lakes will start off the week with a couple cloudy days as a weak weather system approaches and moves through the area.

This small area of low pressure is along the north shore of Lake Michigan this morning. A small warm front extends east, aided by south winds on the backside of an area of high pressure over New Jersey.

South winds will increase across the Finger Lakes today between these two systems with gusts of 25-30 mph. Clouds will remain throughout the day, though a few periods of some sunshine will also be possible, especially this morning. A small bit of drizzle or a shower cannot be ruled out as the warm front passes through.

Temperatures will get a small boost from this setup but will still only top out in the upper 40s.

The chances for rain will increase overnight, but precipitation will remain spotty and light. Temperatures will hold in the upper 40s for the northern half of the Finger Lakes while the Southern Tier dips into the mid 40s.

Our best chances for rain will come on Tuesday morning and into the early afternoon as a cold front slowly moves through. Again, what falls will be light, though everyone should see rain on Tuesday.

Temperatures will be in the upper 40s to near 50 degrees into the early afternoon. During the mid and late afternoon, temperatures will drop a few degrees into the mid and low 40s.

A few scattered lake effect showers will linger into Tuesday night but should end before sunrise Wednesday. Skies will clear and temperatures will fall into the upper 20s and low 30s for Wednesday morning.

Uncertainties in Late Week Snow Chances

Wednesday will be the sunniest day of the week, which is not saying a whole lot. By the afternoon, clouds will return to the area ahead of the next weather system. No precipitation is expected during the day, however.

Behind Tuesday’s cold front, temperatures Wednesday will top out in the low and mid 40s.

A few rain or snow showers will be possible Wednesday night as another cold front moves through. The clouds and precipitation will keep temperatures in the mid and upper 30s, but then temperatures will rise very little for Thursday.

At this point, the forecast becomes muddled.

An area of low pressure will develop along the front that moves through Wednesday night as it passes through the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. This system will eventually develop along the coast of New England, but that phase of the system is of little direct consequence to us.

What remains uncertain is how far south the front will go before the low tracks along it to our south. Behind the front, there will be enough cold air for a swath of snow late Thursday afternoon and Thursday night. The position of that snow is the big question.

The primary version of the European model has the core of the precipitation to the south over Pennsylvania with lighter snow across most of the Finger Lakes. However, there are other possibilities that need to be strongly considered.

A more northern track would lift the core of the snow into the Finger Lakes. That could result in snow amounts over six inches. There is currently about a 20-30% chance of that occurring.

On the flip side, a more southern track could mean a complete miss with little to no snow. There is about a 30-40% chance for that.

That leaves a middling solution as the most likely, with a few inches of snow, but nothing major.

This is still several days out and slight shifts in the storm path will have large impacts on the forecast. Don’t get caught up in the hype starting to swirl and let’s wait and see how this evolves over the next day or two.

Regardless, as the storm strengthens along the coast (again, with its precipitation out of our region and to the east), cold air will be reinforced. Some limited lake effect will be possible Friday with highs in the 30s.

Cold, wintry temperatures will continue through the weekend and well into next week. Temperatures reaching 40 degrees is not a guarantee for the foreseeable future beyond the start of this week.

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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.