Snow Report: Thursday, February 20, 2020

finger lakes weather snow report thursday february 20 2020

A band of heavy lake effect snow will develop tonight over the far northeastern Finger Lakes before moving south and weakening on Thursday.

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Lake effect snow will reorganize tonight along the southeast shore of Lake Ontario. Temperatures will be primed for fluffy, quickly accumulating snow. The snow will begin to move south toward Syracuse for the morning commute before continuing further south and weakening.


LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNINGS are in effect for the following counties, listed alphabetically:
Cayuga (northern only), Onondaga, Wayne

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES are in effect for the following counties, listed alphabetically:

Additional Winter Weather Advisories are not expected but could be issued at a later time. These would be most likely in Cayuga (southern) and Cortland counties.


Disorganized lake snows will continue to dissipate late this afternoon and early this evening. During the overnight, lake snows will become heavier and better organized east-southeast of Lake Ontario, just clipping the Finger Lakes Weather forecast region in eastern Wayne county and far northern Cayuga and Onondaga counties.

By the Thursday morning commute, the band will begin to slowly move southward and should be impacting an area roughly from Sodus to Cato to North Syracuse. Snowfall rates within the band will likely be over an inch per hour.

From there, the band will continue south and will gradually weaken. By noon, the band will stretch from roughly Penn Yan to Cortland with snowfall rates well under an inch per hour. The band will quickly dissipate in the afternoon for areas further south.

finger lakes weather snow map thursday february 20 2020
Most of the Finger Lakes will only see minor snow accumulations on Thursday, but locally heavy amounts will be possible in the far northeastern portions of the region. Click to enlarge.


A narrow ribbon of snow amounts approaching a foot will be possible where the band is most intense during the predawn hours. Snowfall amounts will tapper off rapidly to the south with most of the Finger Lakes seeing an inch or less of accumulation.


Temperatures within the lake effect band tonight will remain in the upper teens. Low teens and single digits are expected outside of the band.

High temperatures on Thursday will be around 20 degrees.


Those traveling in eastern Wayne county, northern Cayuga County, or in and north of Syracuse overnight and into the morning commute should be prepared for rapidly accumulating snow and low visibility. Outside of these areas, few if any travel impacts are expected.

During the daytime hours Thursday, as the band moves south, some roads may become slick and briefly snow covered. Travel impacts will be less and less the further south the band goes, with few if any impacts south of the southern tips of Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes.


Northwest winds will peak during the late morning hours Thursday with gusts to 25 mph. Areas of blowing and drifting snow will be possible.


Medium- Lake effect can be extremely localized and often behaves in unpredictable ways. Some uncertainty in snow amounts, and the timing and location of the snow, should be expected.


As snow showers dissipate Thursday afternoon and evening, high pressure will take over and dominate the weather for the weekend. No additional snow is expected until the middle of next week at the earliest.


  • Regular Thursday morning blog post (Between 7-8 AM Thursday)
  • Regular Friday morning blog post (Between 7-8 AM Friday)


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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.