Cold with increasing sunshine ahead of weekend snow

finger lakes weather forecast friday january 17 2020 sunny cold saturday snow sunday lake effect
Sunshine will increase today before clouds move back in tonight. A burst of snow is expected tomorrow with travel impacts, but no big snow storm as the hype machine once again cried wolf. [Photo by Helen Heizyk]

Weekend Weather Forecast

Friday will be a quiet weather day before an active weekend.

Lake effect clouds and a few narrow bands of light snow are still in the area this morning, but should dissipate as high pressure builds in.

Sunshine will increase during the middle of the day and the afternoon before new clouds work in this evening.

Even though it will be sunny, it will be cold. Widespread temperatures in the teens and single digits this morning will only rise modestly. Most areas will top out close to 20 degrees, but some typically colder areas, especially in Central New York, will struggle to get out of the mid teens.

Temperatures will drop back into the low and mid teens this evening but will begin to rise after midnight back towards 20.

Snow will move into the Finger Lakes late Saturday morning and into the midday hours. The snow will likely begin to come down at a moderate to heavy rate shortly after starting. Precipitation should continue for several hours before tapering off and ending between 4-7 PM.

I do expect sleet to mix in for some areas, though exactly how widespread this becomes will probably never be fully known until it happens. Sleet will be more likely the further west one goes, with the I-81 corridor having the best chance at staying all snow.

Given the relatively short duration of this snow, accumulations will be kept in check, regardless of whether sleet mixes in. Most areas will see a few inches, but not much more. I will have my snow map this afternoon in my Snow Report.

Saturday evening will be rather quiet with just a stray flurry, shower, or a bit of drizzle. Temperatures will jump into the mid 30s after spending most of the daytime hours in the 20s.

By Sunday morning, low pressure will be over the Adirondacks and tracking into New England. Blustery west winds will set up over our region with some lake effect snow showers off Lake Erie. A strong lake effect band will set up over Lake Ontario, impacting the Tug Hill region.

Sunday afternoon, winds will shift to the northwest. The Lake Ontario band may get picked up by this wind shift and pushed south through the Finger Lakes as a squall.  Additional lake effect will continue through Sunday night south of Lake Ontario.

Temperatures Sunday will hold steady much of the day, with low 30s in the northern Finger Lakes and upper 20s elsewhere.

Looking to Next Week

High pressure will build in for Monday, keeping the daytime hours calm and quiet. Like today though, it will be cold, with morning lows starting in the teens and highs struggling to get to 20 degrees.

Lake effect may briefly flare up again late Monday night and early Tuesday before dissipating once more. Tuesday will be a bit warmer, with highs in the mid and upper 20s.

The cold air will not stick around though, with temperatures creeping upwards for the latter half of next week.

Wednesday’s highs will return to the low and mid 30s. Thursday will reach the upper 30s and low 40s. More 40s than 30s are expected by Friday.

Skies look to be mostly sunny on Wednesday with a few more clouds Thursday into Friday. No precipitation is expected at this time, however.

The Hype Machine that Cried Wolf

Once again, premature, hyped up calls for a major winter weather event have fizzled into a false alarm. Predictions of double-digit snow amounts and “blizzard” conditions earlier this week are not even close to being right.

Unfortunately, this pattern will repeat itself time and again and sooner rather than later. Over-reliance on automated forecasts taken straight from computer models and a drive to generate revenue with scare tactics are the root of this problem.

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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.