On and off Lake Effect Snow Wednesday-Thursday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday february 19 2020 lake effect snow
On and off bouts of lake effect snow will impact the Finger Lakes through Wednesday and Thursday before a three-day stretch of sunshine and warming temperatures. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Lake Snows

The next two days’ weather will have on and off bouts of lake effect snow with locally moderate accumulations.

Lake snows are increasing this morning as northwest winds establish themselves over the region. A spray of snow exists across the northern parts of the region.

This snow will continue to press south this morning with a second, smaller band of snow during the midday and early afternoon hours.

Locally an inch or two will fall, especially over the favored lake effect areas in the I-90 and I-81 corridors. Travel may be slick at times, especially during any heavier squalls. The transient nature of the bands should prevent greater snow amounts.

Northwest winds will be blustery with gusts around 30 mph. These winds will reduce visibility and cause areas of blowing and drifting snow. Be on the lookout for changing conditions.

Once the second band moves south and dissipates this afternoon, there will be a window for dry conditions during the late afternoon and evening. A few stray flurries will still be possible, but with minimal impacts.

High temperatures this afternoon will be in the mid and upper 20s.

The lake effect process restarts overnight as a more organized and slower moving band develops southeast of Lake Ontario. Wayne, northern Cayuga, and northern Onondaga counties could see localized amounts top six inches overnight and into early Thursday morning.

That snow band will sag south Thursday morning and into the early afternoon, weakening as it does so. Like today, most areas should see an inch or two as it passes through, with even less south of the southern tips of Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes.

Temperatures on Thursday will start in the single digits and teens and highs will top out within a couple degrees on either side of 20 degrees.

A few more flurries and squalls will develop behind the band Thursday evening and into the overnight. Southwest winds will kick in by Friday morning, taking the lake effect well to the north where it will dissipate.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday february 19 2020
click to enlarge

Weather Quiets Down and Warms Up

A stretch of dry conditions and increasing temperatures will take hold of the region immediately following the lake effect.

Friday will start out clear and cold. Most of the region will be in the single digits with a few areas in the western Southern Tier slipping just below zero. To the northeast, where the lake effect clouds will linger Thursday night, temperatures will start Friday in the teens.

There should scarcely be a cloud in the sky Friday with start-to-finish sunshine. The sun and southwest winds will push temperatures into the upper 20s and low 30s.

Saturday will start with most areas between 15-25 degrees. Sunshine will again be plentiful, and winds will remain from the southwest. Most areas should reach 40 degrees with higher elevations in the upper 30s.

Sunday will be day three of sunshine and southwest winds. Temperatures will start near or above 20 degrees and will top out in the mid and upper 40s.

Clouds will finally return on Monday with some scattered rain showers also moving in. Temperatures should remain mild with highs in the 40s.

Tuesday and Wednesday should remain relatively mild, but probably will be cooler than Sunday. Late next week, colder air will make another brief return before temperatures once again moderate.

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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.