Snow Report: Thursday, January 16, 2020

finger lakes weather snow report thursday january 16 2020

A spray of lake effect snow and embedded squalls will be accompanied by gusty winds throughout Thursday.

WHAT

An area of low pressure will move through the Finger Lakes Wednesday night with a mix of rain and snow showers. Moist air wrapping around the back side of the low will spawn areas of lake effect snow on Thursday. While the snow may initially be widespread, it should consolidate into bands over time.

Gusty winds will also cause areas of blowing and drifting, as well as reduced visibilities within the heavier snow bands.

ALERTS ACTIVE

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES are in effect for the following counties (listed alphabetically):
Cayuga, Cortland, Onondaga, Wayne, Wyoming

WIND ADVISORIES are in effect for the following counties (listed alphabetically):
Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins

WHEN

Rain will move into the Finger Lakes between 9 PM and Midnight tonight and continue into the pre-dawn hours. Areas of snow or ice may mix in with the rain at times. Precipitation will become all snow by dawn.
Thursday morning, a widespread spray of flurries with embedded heavier bursts of snow will exist across most of the Finger Lakes with flurries in the Southern Tier.

During the afternoon, snow will concentrate over the northeastern Finger Lakes and western Southern Tier. Localized squalls may still be possible over the remainder of the region, but these would be brief should they develop at all.

Snow will continue in the lake effect prone areas of the northeastern Finger Lakes and western Southern Tier into the evening and overnight. Snow rates will gradually decrease and the snow will end early Friday morning.

finger lakes weather snow map thursday january 16 2020
Approximate snow amounts expected Thursday and Thursday night. Click to enlarge.

HOW MUCH

The highest snow amounts of are expected over the northeastern Finger Lakes, stretching from eastern Wayne county, southeast through Cayuga and Onondaga counties and into the northern half of Cortland County. Within this area, the hills between Syracuse and Cortland will see the highest amounts, on the order of 4-7 inches. Elsewhere in this area, 2-4 inches of snow will fall.

Similar amounts will also be found in the western Southern Tier and west of I-390.

Throughout the remainder of the Finger Lakes, snow amounts will generally be around or under an inch with some higher elevations approaching two inches.

TEMPERATURES

Temperatures will be in the mid 30s overnight tonight for the entire region. Thursday morning, lower elevations will remain in the mid 30s while higher elevations drop to the low 30s.

Temperatures will drop further Thursday afternoon, especially after 3 PM, with low 30s in lower elevations and upper 20s in higher elevations. Thursday evening, temperatures will rapidly fall through the 20s and into the teens.

Most areas should be between 10-15 degrees by Friday morning with a few pockets falling into the single digits.

TRAVEL IMPACTS

Travel conditions will vary across the region throughout the event thanks to the marginal temperatures and localized variations in snow intensity.

Less frequently traveled roads will be impacted the most, as will those over higher elevations. These roads may become snow covered. Major roads may remain just wet, especially in areas that see lighter snow and/or are at lower elevations.

Road conditions in lake effect areas will deteriorate further in the late afternoon and evening as temperatures fall.

Blowing snow may also create small patches of snow-covered roadways and poor visibility.

OTHER IMPACTS

Northwest winds will increase in speed Thursday morning and continue through the afternoon and evening. The winds will be especially strong across the Southern Tier and southern Finger Lakes, where gusts over 45 mph will be possible. Elsewhere, gusts will top out between 35-45 mph.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE

MEDIUM- Lake effect is inherently difficult to pinpoint due to the small, localized nature of heavy snow banding. The uncertain nature of the lake effect snow band positions can cause greater or lesser amounts than forecast, especially on the edges of the forecast zones.

The I-390 Corridor from Geneseo to Bath is particularly uncertain as snow from the Georgian Bay in Canada could impact the region, but warmer valley temperatures will also be a factor.

FUTURE SNOW OUTLOOK

No precipitation is expected Friday.

Snow, or a rain-snow mix is expected on Saturday with accumulations possible. Please see the following post for a comprehensive look at where we stand with Saturday’s system: https://flxweather.com/2020/01/14/weekend-winter-storm-sorting-through-the-early-hype

Lake enhanced snow is likely behind Saturday’s system for Sunday and possibly Monday and early Tuesday.

FUTURE UPDATES

  • Regularly scheduled Thursday morning post (Between 7-8 AM Thursday)
  • Regularly scheduled Friday morning post (Between 7-8 AM Friday)
  • Snow Report: Saturday (Between 3-7 PM Friday)
  • Saturday morning updates, if necessary (Between 7-10 AM Saturday)
  • Snow Report: Sunday-Monday (Between 3-7 PM Saturday)

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.