Sun and Snow on Chilly Thursday

finger lakes weather forecast thursday december 19 2019 lake effect snow sunshine
Areas of lake effect snow will gradually diminish today while other parts of the Finger Lakes remain mostly sunny. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Split Region

The Finger Lakes is split this morning between areas of snow and areas of sun. The one constant, however, is cold temperatures.

Widespread single digits are in place this morning with subzero wind chills thanks to northwest winds.

The cold winds blowing over the warmer lake waters continue to produce a widespread spray of lake effect snow across the northeastern Finger Lakes.

Even Cayuga Lake is producing a band of lake effect snow, which extends from near Lansing, through Slaterville Springs, Berkshire, and into the Binghamton area.

An additional inch or two will fall across the area this morning, with a few locally higher amounts in the most persistent snow bands.

The overall intensity of the snow will wane as the day goes on and the coverage area should shrink.

A small but weakening disturbance will approach this afternoon. Winds will shift ahead of this, sending any lingering lake flurries north of Syracuse. Snow showers associated with the disturbance will skirt along the shore of Lake Ontario.

There will be a limited lake response behind this disturbance tonight with a brief period of lake effect over the northeastern Finger Lakes. This should dissipate near or shortly after dawn Friday.

Outside of the lake snows, expect sunny periods and a few clouds today.

Temperatures will remain cold, with highs ranging through the teens and wind chills near or slightly above zero degrees. Gusty winds will also cause areas of drifting snow.

Extended Quiet Period

Once the lake flurries die out Friday morning, high pressure will build in and dominate the weather for an extended period.

Friday will still be a cold day but with a good deal of sunshine. Morning temperatures will range from the teens where the lake effect is present, to single digits and a few pockets of subzero temperatures. Afternoon highs will range between 20-25.

Some clouds will slide through the region Friday night and early Saturday. Depending on how quickly they arrive during the night, temperatures will either be cold, or very cold.

Delayed clouds would allow temperatures to drop faster early on. This is most likely over Central New York, where temperatures could drop below zero. Further west, overnight temperatures should be near or above 10 degrees.

The clouds will move out and Saturday will turn sunny. Afternoon temperatures should return to the 30s with the warmest air over western areas.

Sunshine and south winds will dominate Sunday and Monday, pushing temperatures well into the 40s. A few places could even hit 50 degrees. This will, of course, ruin our chances for a White Christmas. The light, fluffy lake effect that has been falling will quickly melt.

Temperatures should retreat into the 30s for Christmas Eve and Christmas next Tuesday and Wednesday. Skies will be cloudy but dry Tuesday and a few rain showers or flurries will be possible Wednesday.

Significant precipitation is not expected for nearly another week beyond that.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Jim Van Buskirk
    |

    I’ve just returned from being out since 4 am doing some salting and did not see one flake fall. This is in the Lansing/Cayuga Hgts/Warren Rd. area.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      Thanks Jim. It is possible the snow didn’t reach the ground that close to the lake, but it certainly was falling further inland. The radar has a difficult time seeing Finger Lake effect snow sometimes, so without being there myself, I rely on reports like this for some ground truth to the matter.