Lake flakes Thursday, more widespread snow Friday

finger lakes weather forecast thursday december 5 2019 lake effect snow clipper system
Areas of lake effect snow on Thursday will bring small, localized accumulations. More widespread accumulating snow is likely for Friday. [Photo by Kelly Doolittle]

Snow Continues

The Finger Lakes will be subject to more snow today and tomorrow from lake effect and a fast moving clipper system.

Scattered snow showers continued overnight behind a small system that produced light snow on Wednesday. The snow this morning is working to organize into lake effect bands.

The primary band of snow at 7 AM was from eastern Wayne County southeast into Onondaga and northern Cortland County. This corridor will be favored for flurries and squalls throughout the day, but the setup is a bit more complex than that.

Through the morning hours, that band should drift north-eastward through and then north of Syracuse. A new spray of flurries should develop across the Finger Lakes during the midday hours. This, too, will drift eastward and likely organize more as it hits those same lake effect prone areas mentioned above.

This process may try to repeat itself once more late this afternoon on a lesser scale. The lake effect should mostly die off early this evening.

Most of the Finger Lakes will see a coating of snow, but no real accumulations. An inch or two is possible in the Wayne-Cayuga-Onondaga-Cortland county belt. The hills south of Syracuse may even get over two inches.

High temperatures will reach the low 30s this afternoon, but northwest winds will gust between 30-40 mph, making it feel colder.

The lull in the snow overnight will be brief as an area of low pressure races toward the region Friday morning. Widespread snow is likely with this feature, though nailing down the exact location still remains an uncertain task.

There will be a sharp cut off to the precipitation on the south side of the system and the latest trends show that at least the Southern Tier may partially get into this area.

The snow will come down steadily for a few hours at a decent but not overwhelming rate. Accumulations will likely top out around 3 inches, with most areas seeing more like 1-2 inches. The snow should end from west to east between 2-5 PM.

Thaw Ahead

Behind Friday’s system, a limited amount of lake effect snow may try to get going Friday night and Saturday morning. The areas most likely to see the snow are the same areas that will see accumulations today over the northeastern Finger Lakes.

Given that lake effect snow is prone to lingering longer than the models indicate, I would not be surprised to see flurries lingering into the afternoon for some of these areas.

Outside of the lake flakes, skies will partially clear Friday night and temperatures will drop into the teens. Saturday will then have mixed skies with highs in the mid and upper 20s.

Sunday should be a dry day as high pressure sets up just to our east. Sunshine will be limited as a deck of thin clouds moves in, but a south wind should help temperatures warm. Highs will range from the mid 30s across the Southern Tier and Central New York to the low 40s in the Rochester area.

The weather then turns wet on Monday and Tuesday with periods of rain likely. Temperatures should be well into the 40s.

A cold front will eventually make its way through and some minor snow accumulations may be possible on the backside of the rain. This is most likely Tuesday night with lake effect returning for Wednesday.

More mild, rainy weather will be possible towards next weekend.

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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.