Late day squall after some sunshine

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday december 11 2019 snow squall sunshine
After a period of sunshine today, a snow squall will blow in this afternoon with poor travel conditions. [Photo by Ted Marks- Atwater Vineyards]

Squall Timing & Impacts

An interesting weather day is ahead as wind shifts have large impacts on our weather.

There are three distinct parts to today. This morning, clouds and a few snow showers are in the area as winds begin to turn between high pressure over the Adirondacks and low pressure north of the Upper Great Lakes.

The heaviest snow this morning is west of the Finger Lakes as a strong Lake Erie snow band lifts north. With southwest winds blowing over the length of Lake Erie, this band will remain strong through the morning and into the early afternoon.

While this occurs, our second part of the day will unfold with quiet conditions and sunny skies. Temperatures will top out in the low 30s for most with a few upper 20s in the hills of the Southern Tier and Central New York.

As the low pressure system moves east, winds will turn back to the west and northwest. The wind shift will pick up the lake effect band and propel it south-eastward through the Finger Lakes as a squall.

This should begin around 3 PM as the squall moves into the Rochester area and will continue into the early evening as the squall reaches the areas south and east of Ithaca.

The squall may undergo some weakening as it traverses the region, so areas further northwest will have a greater impact. Still, even for far southeastern areas, the burst of snow will make for a period of poor travel conditions. Snow squall warnings are likely to be issued for some if not most of the region.

Expect low visibility and rapidly deteriorating road conditions as the squall blows in. Wind gusts over 30 mph will also be possible, along with a rapid half-inch or more of snow. The squall should last 20-40 minutes.

During the evening commute between 5-7 PM, the squall will be impacting areas such as Canandaigua, Geneva, Auburn, Syracuse, Penn Yan, and Dansville. Again, it will not be squally during this entire block of time for any single location.

Please check your zip-code forecast for timing and intensity information for your town.

Behind the Squall

Once the squall clears out, skies will return to a partly cloudy state. A few stray flurries will be possible, but most areas should have a quiet nighttime.

The one exception will be from about Syracuse northward, where a couple inches of lake effect will be possible overnight and into early Thursday.

Thursday morning lows will dip into the teens for most with a few single digit readings also possible. Afternoon highs will reach the low 30s.

Sunshine will mix with and be filtered by some cloud cover. The lake effect near Syracuse should lift north during the morning with no other precipitation expected.

Friday will also be a quiet day with a little sunshine and increasing amounts of cloud cover. South winds will help temperatures to range from the upper 30s in the south to the low and even mid 40s in the north.

Rain will move in late Friday night and continue off and on throughout Saturday. The rain may turn to snow Saturday night with a chance for some minor accumulations.

Flurries will persist for Sunday and early Monday. The next system will roll in for Tuesday and Wednesday next week. The details on this system are far from clear at this point in time.

Zip-Code Based Forecasts

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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.

  1. Pam Van Gelder

    Cool new word! Squally!! 🙂