Snow Report: Saturday, January 18, 2020

finger lakes weather snow report saturday january 18 2020

The weather system that has been hotly talked about and debated all week will finally arrive in the Finger Lakes on Saturday.

WHAT

An area of low pressure will move into the Great Lakes on Saturday, spreading snow and sleet into the Finger Lakes. The snow will start as an initial burst in the late morning and early afternoon. Periods of snow are likely through the afternoon before tapering off for the evening. Additional light snow is possible overnight.

ALERTS ACTIVE

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES are in effect for all counties in the Finger Lakes, except for Wyoming county, which is under a WINTER STORM WATCH. This watch will eventually be changed to an Advisory as well, or upgraded to a warning.

WHEN

A band of heavy snow will cross the Finger Lakes from southwest to northeast, entering the region around 9 AM and exiting around 1 PM. The snow with this band will be heavy from the onset with snowfall rates approaching an inch an hour. The heavy snow should last for an hour or so.

After the initial burst, periods of snow will continue through the remainder of the daylight hours. The intensity of the snow will fluctuate and areas of sleet may mix in at times.

By the evening hours, much of the snow that is expected will have fallen. Precipitation will taper to a few flurries and some drizzle or freezing drizzle. Quiet conditions will persist until around midnight, when lake enhanced snow from Lake Erie begins to move into the region. On and off snow will continue into Sunday.

finger lakes weather snow map saturday january 18 2020
Expected snow Saturday and Saturday night. Many areas in the 2-4 inch range may end up closer to two inches and a few may even fail to reach that threshold. Few if any locations in the 4-8 inch range will see over six inches. Click to enlarge.

HOW MUCH

Much of the Finger Lakes region should see between 2-4 inches of accumulation. Some areas may even fail to reach the two inch mark.

Higher amounts are expected over the northeastern and eastern Finger Lakes, as well as the western Southern Tier. Amounts in these areas should not exceed six inches, though, except perhaps in the hill tops between Syracuse and Cortland.

TEMPERATURES

Temperatures will be around 20 degrees when the first burst of snow moves through the region. Behind this initial burst, temperatures will rise to the mid and upper 20s for the afternoon.

Eventually, temperatures will warm into the low and mid 30s, but this will be most likely after 9 PM. The temperatures will begin to retreat again by dawn Sunday.

TRAVEL IMPACTS

Road conditions will rapidly deteriorate as the snow begins with the initial burst. All roads will become snowy and slushy and rural roads will become difficult to travel.

Little change in road conditions is expected until the evening hours, when lighter precipitation and warming temperatures lead to improved roads. Should precipitation taper off early in any given location, the roads may improve sooner for those areas.

Travel during the initial snow burst will not be ideal, and due caution will be necessary through the afternoon.

OTHER IMPACTS

South winds will gust between 30-40 mph, especially over higher elevations. Winds will turn to the southwest overnight, but will continue to be gusty.

Pockets of sleet are expected at times Saturday afternoon. A few areas of freezing drizzle will also be possible late Saturday afternoon and early Saturday evening.

FORECAST CONFIDENCE

MEDIUM- Difference in terrain and temperatures make the forecast confidence lower than it may otherwise be. Many areas will either be around or even just below 2 inches, or at or above 4 inches, with little separation between these amount classes.

FUTURE SNOW OUTLOOK

Additional snow is expected throughout Sunday due to lake effect. A heavier squall may be possible in the afternoon as winds shift to the northwest, picking up a band of lake effect snow from Lake Ontario and transporting it through the region. Sunday’s accumulations will be minor, with most places seeing around an inch or two.

FUTURE UPDATES

  • Saturday morning updates, if necessary (Between 7-10 AM Saturday)
  • Snow Report: Sunday, if necessary (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 three 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.