Winter retreats again, but threatens return this weekend

finger lakes weather forecast thursday january 2 2020 sunny mild weekend snow
The little bit of snow that fell this week will melt today under bright, sunny skies and temperatures above 45 degrees. More wintry weather may be on the way this weekend, however. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Mild Thursday-Friday

After a very brief return to cooler temperatures and a coating of white, the Finger Lakes will bounce back into a warm pattern, at least for a couple days.

A developing low pressure system north of the Great Lakes will pull warm air north into the Finger Lakes today. Increasing amounts of sunshine will add to the warming.

Much of the region will get above 45 degrees today. A few of the typically warmer areas along I-90 could even reach 50 degrees this afternoon.

The southwest winds will be a touch blustery with gusts over 20 mph.

Late in the day, a new area of thin cloud cover will work in from the southwest. This will be out ahead of a second, disorganized low that will track from Texas today into the Ohio Valley by early Saturday.

Scattered showers will develop tonight and continue off and on throughout Friday. None of the rain will be heavy and temperatures will remain far too warm for any snow or ice concerns. Overnight lows tonight will be in the upper 30s and low 40s with highs on Friday in the low and mid 40s.

Weekend Snow Chances

Early Saturday, a piece of energy high in the atmosphere will dive southeast into the central United States. This energy will spur the Ohio Valley low along, resulting in rapid development on Saturday as the low tracks across Pennsylvania.

For the first part of Saturday, our temperatures will remain warm enough for precipitation to fall as rain. After that, things become very complicated.

As the low moves east, it will begin to transfer its energy to a new low off the coast of New Jersey. The evolution of this process is key to our weather Saturday afternoon and evening. The quicker the first low moves east and/or transfers to the coast, the quicker cold air will infiltrate our region and turn our rain to snow.

A period of moderate to heavy precipitation is likely Saturday afternoon and evening, but whether it falls as rain or snow is very questionable. The further west, the more likely snow becomes. Snow amounts are far too uncertain to speculate about, but significant, plowable snow is a possibility.

No matter when the changeover occurs and how much snow ends up falling, the storm should complete its transfer to the coast Saturday night and be pulling away by Sunday morning. A few snow showers may linger for the first few hours after sunrise, but most of Sunday should be cloudy, but quiet.

A new batch of flurries will move in Sunday night and Monday with little, if any accumulations.

Temperatures Sunday will be in the 20s before returning to the 30s for Monday and Tuesday.

A new system will approach for the middle of next week with its own set of complexities. It is far, far too early to speculate anything about that system, so be wary of any specifics being thrown about regarding the middle of next week.

I will have my regular morning blog post tomorrow, with a Snow Report focused on Saturday coming either Friday evening or Saturday morning. Stay tuned.

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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.