Snow Report: Tuesday, December 17, 2019

finger lakes weather snow report tuesday december 17 2019

A steady snow will fall throughout the day on Tuesday, resulting in several inches of accumulation and tricky travel conditions.

WHAT

Low pressure will track across Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Snow to the north of the low will pass through the Finger Lakes with the core of the snow falling across the southeastern portions of the region.

ALERTS ACTIVE

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES are in effect for the following counties (listed alphabetically):
Allegany, Cayuga (southern ONLY), Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wyoming, Yates

WHEN

Snow will begin before dawn from south to north across the region. Areas north of I-90 may not see the snow until just after dawn.

Steady snow will fall throughout the day with periods of heavier snow possible. Snow will taper to on and off snow showers from southwest to northeast during the later afternoon and early evening hours. The steady snow should exit the region by 7 PM.

finger lakes weather snow map tuesday december 17 2019
Widespread snow will fall throughout Tuesday with the highest amounts over the southeastern Finger Lakes where locally over 6 inches may fall. Click to enlarge.

HOW MUCH

The highest snow amounts will occur within any small, localized heavy bands that set up. These are most likely across Chemung, Tioga, and perhaps southern Cortland, southern Schuyler, southeastern Steuben, and southern Tompkins counties. Here, localized amounts could approach 8 inches.

Snow amounts will decrease to the north and west. Around 4 inches should fall from a Wellsville-Penn Yan-Syracuse line, with lesser amounts to the northwest. The majority of the region should see between 3-6 inches.

TEMPERATURES

Temperatures will move very little during the event, starting the day in the upper 20s and perhaps reaching 30 degrees during the afternoon. As the snow ends during the evening, temperatures will fall back into the low and mid 20s.

TRAVEL IMPACTS

This system should have a MODERATE impact on travel conditions for both the morning and evening commutes Tuesday, as well as the hours in between.

Most, if not all roads, will have snow and slush that will require reduced speeds. Many rural and secondary roads will be snow covered. Allowing for extra travel time is highly recommended.

Travel conditions in the north and west will likely be a bit less difficult than those further south and east.

OTHER IMPACTS

No other significant impacts are expected with precipitation remaining all snow and winds staying light.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE

MODERATE – There is still some uncertainty in where the heaviest snow bands will set up, as well as in the overall path of the system. This could result in a shift in the cut-off between 2-4 inch snow amounts and 4-8 inch snow amounts.

Localized variations in snow amounts are always expected, but could be enhanced by the presence of small, locally heavy snow bands within the larger area of snow.

FUTURE SNOW OUTLOOK

Scattered snow showers are likely Tuesday night, beginning within 1-3 hours of the steady snow ending. These may keep road conditions less than ideal through Tuesday night.

A cold front will move through Wednesday morning. Behind the front, widespread snow showers and heavier squalls are expected into the evening. These squalls will pose a significant travel threat with brief periods of near-zero visibility and rapidly changing travel conditions.

Lighter lake effect snow will continue Wednesday night and into Thursday for areas southeast of Lake Ontario, possibly including the Auburn and Cortland areas.

FUTURE UPDATES

  • Regularly scheduled Tuesday morning post (Between 7-8 AM Tuesday)
  • Snow Report: Wednesday (Between 2-5 PM Tuesday)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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 and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.

9 Responses

  1. Avatar
    K
    |

    I have to drive from Jamesville to Cortland leaving around 4:30 pm. Any advice? Would leaving at 3:30 be better?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      Leaving at a later time will be better in this case since the precipitation will be letting up and ending.

      • Avatar
        K
        |

        Later than 4:30 is better, you mean? Or just that I should take the second option of the two I have, 3:30 or 4:30?

        • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
          Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
          |

          The later you wait, the more likely it is that the snow will be ending. So, if you wanted to leave after 4:30, that could be better than at 4:30…though it is probably not a huge difference at that point.

  2. Avatar
    Beth Bannister
    |

    I love your no hype weather! I need to travel tomorrow from the Ithaca area to the Syr airport. Do you think I should head out in the morning first thing, or wait until early afternoon? I need to be there by 3pm, but can leave pretty much anytime. Thanks:)

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      Earlier may be better, as the snow will just be starting at that point. Waiting for the afternoon will put you in the thick of things…and give you less time to take it however slow is necessary. The trip should certainly be doable…but will need extra time and caution.

      • Avatar
        Beth Bannister
        |

        Thank you:)

  3. Avatar
    Valerie
    |

    Thank you, Drew. I will share this report with my dad so he can decide when to go out and finish his Christmas shopping.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      Glad to help!