Series of cold fronts usher in taste of Winter

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday november 5 2019 cold fronts rain snow winter
A series of cold fronts will bring the first real taste of winter to the Finger Lakes, including our first accumulating snowfall. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Cold Fronts

A pair of cold fronts will move through the Finger Lakes over the next couple days, bringing a prolonged period of cold weather.

finger lakes weather surface map tuesday november 5 2019 7 am
Tuesday morning’s surface weather map shows two cold fronts moving towards the Finger Lakes with increasingly cold air behind each front. [Click to enlarge]
The first of these fronts is poised just west of the region this morning and will move through during the day today.

Scattered showers and temperatures in the 40s are out ahead of the front. None of the precipitation is heavy and temperatures will only rise a couple degrees this morning.

Showers will linger into the afternoon with some occasional breaks in the precipitation. Rain amounts should stay well under a quarter-inch.

Temperatures will drop into the low and mid 40s during the second half of the afternoon as winds shift from the south to the west. The winds today will be lighter than yesterday with top gusts near or just over 20 mph.

A few lake effect showers and flurries off Lake Erie will develop this evening for areas south of I-90. After midnight, the precipitation should become all snow and will focus over the Southern Tier. No snow accumulations are expected. Flurries will end early Wednesday morning.

Elsewhere, Wednesday will be off to a sunny and cold start with widespread temperatures in the low and mid 30s. Even the typically warmest locations will drop to around 35 degrees. A few upper 20s are possible in isolated cold pockets.

Clouds will increase Wednesday afternoon as the second cold front drops southeast through the Great Lakes.  The sunshine and southwest winds will push temperatures into the mid 40s. The temperatures today and tomorrow will be among the warmest over the next 10-14 days.

The second front will be slow to move south and should still be north of the region by noon Thursday. Precipitation will move in for Thursday afternoon, possibly starting as some rain before turning to snow.

The snow may become more widespread and increase in intensity later in the afternoon and evening as low pressure develops to our south.

However, the trend in the models has been for slower development of that low and a quicker movement to the east. This has led to a downward trend in snow amounts for our region with only a few hours of steady snowfall.

The chances for a significant, six-inch plus snow have rapidly declined. Likewise, the chances for a complete miss have also dropped. Confidence is increasing that our first widespread accumulation will occur, but will be minor with just a couple inches falling.

Winter’s Chill

After passing by our region, low pressure will strengthen along the coast of New England while a strong high pressure system builds in across the middle of the nation. The flow of air around these two systems will open us up to our first invasion of wintry cold.

High temperatures on Friday will only reach the low and mid 30s. The morning will have scattered snow showers off Lake Ontario, but these should dry up by the afternoon. Some sunshine is likely before the end of the day.

Friday night will be, by far, the coldest night so far this year. Temperatures will dive into the 20s for the entire region. Typically colder locations in Central New York and the western Southern Tier could easily drop into the teens.

A south wind and ample sunshine will help temperatures warm back into the mid and upper 30s for Saturday afternoon. Temperatures will slide into the upper 20s Saturday evening, but will hold steady or rise back into the low 30s Saturday night.

Sunday will be warmer with highs making it back into the 40s. This will only be a temporary push of “milder” air ahead of the next cold front. That front will bring more rain and snow showers Sunday night with even colder air next week. Highs on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week may struggle to even reach 30 degrees.

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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. Jane Schantz

    OK, I thought you might be able to anticipate another polar vortex or something like that. Thanks!

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Don’t be worried about polar vortex, bomb cyclones, or whatever new buzz word the media comes up with. All these things have been happening for centuries and will continue to happen…they aren’t anything new. The media just catches hold of a bit of meteorological slang and whips it up into a hype fueled scare fest.

  2. Jane Schantz

    Drew, do you have any sense of what the winter will be like?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Hi Jane! I don’t do seasonal forecasting like that. There is very little skill in the guidance that far in advance and my focus is on the next 7-10 days. Anything beyond that becomes very iffy.

      I can guess that it will be cold and snowy though, like usual! 😉