The first widespread, accumulating snow of the season is upon us as a strong cold front moves through the region.
Temperatures are at or near their high point this morning with much of the region in the 40s. Already though, western areas are losing ground as the cold front makes slow but steady progress eastward.
A batch of rain showers will move northeast through the Finger Lakes this morning out ahead of the front. Meanwhile, a band of snow over Canada will drop southeast into western New York this morning and into the Finger Lakes by midday.
Most of the area should be seeing snow by 1 PM. The snow will fall steadily through the afternoon, coming to an end from northwest to southeast between 3-7 PM.
Temperatures will continue to fall during this time, dropping below the freezing mark after 3 PM. Before that happens, accumulations will be limited to grassy surfaces and travel should not be impacted. Once temperatures drop, untreated roads will become slushy, then slick as the slush freezes.
Slick untreated roads will continue to be possible into the evening and overnight despite the snow stopping.
Accumulations will be minor, ranging from less than an inch in warmer valley locations to 2 or 3 inches over higher elevations.
Cold air will continue to push in overnight. Morning lows Friday will be in the mid and low 20s. Gusty northwest winds will keep temperatures cold into Friday, with afternoon highs only in the low 30s.
Some disorganized lake effect will develop south of Lake Ontario tonight and continue into Friday. This lake effect will not be steady, but rather on and off short bursts. These bursts could briefly reduce visibility and put a little snow on the roads.
Most areas will not see additional accumulations tonight into Friday. A few localizes areas could see an inch. If a steadier band sets up for an hour or so, two inches would not be out of the question.
Winds will turn more westerly late in the day, sending the lake effect near or north of Syracuse before lifting clear of the Finger Lakes overnight.
Morning lows Saturday should again be well into the 20s. A few cold pockets could slip into the teens.
Saturday will have a mix of sun and clouds and a light south wind. Temperatures will range from the mid 30s to the low 40s. Sunday will be warmer yet as south winds persist. Highs should reach the mid and upper 40s despite mostly cloudy skies.
And Staying Cold
The small warm up this weekend will take place out ahead of the next cold front. This front will move through Sunday night and early Monday.
Interestingly enough, the models are trying again with the scenario they originally propagated for today’s snow. After the cold front sinks south, the models develop an area of low pressure which brings a moderate snow to the Finger Lakes.
While within the realm of possibility, I will remain very skeptical of this solution in the wake of their poor early handling of today’s snow. Beware of another round of premature snow projections and hype.
What is more certain is another shot of cold, winter air. High temperatures behind the front will only be in the 20s. These temperatures are likely for Tuesday and Wednesday, but Monday could also be that cold, assuming there is not a steady moderate snow falling.
Late next week temperatures should scrape their way back into the 30s with 40s a possibility for the week after that.
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