Snow Report: Friday Night-Saturday, February 28-29, 2020

finger lakes weather snow report friday night saturday february 28-29 2020
Lake effect snow will work into the Finger Lakes as winds shift Friday night into Saturday, bringing modest snow amounts to some areas.

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Lake effect snow is very sensitive to a variety of atmospheric phenomenon. Subtle changes, often unnoticeable without advanced instrumentation and modeling, can lead to fluctuations in band position and intensity.

Several of these changes will take place over the next 24 hours, resulting in significant changes to the lake effect snow.

First, snow will increase on southwest winds over the far western portions of the region late this afternoon and evening, mostly west of I-390. The remainder of the region should see an uptick in snow showers with perhaps a brief squall.

Second, winds will turn to the northwest around midnight, sending a squall off Lake Ontario south through the Finger Lakes. This will be followed by widespread light lake effect snow with embedded squalls across the northern Finger Lakes Saturday morning.

Lake effect should weaken or dissipate by midday Saturday, but an additional batch of light snow will arrive late Saturday afternoon. Limited lake effect will continue behind this Saturday night before dissipating early Sunday.


The following weather alerts are active in the Finger Lakes Weather forecast area:

A LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNING is in effect for the following county:

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


Snow will increase west of I-390 through this evening. Snow showers and perhaps a brief squall will be possible across the remainder of the Finger Lakes.

Between 11 PM-3 AM, all snow will shift southward. At the least, a squall off Lake Ontario will drop south through the region. Additional snow showers and embedded squalls will be possible outside of this primary squall.

Through Saturday morning, flurries and squalls will be across much of the northern Finger Lakes, especially north of I-90 and into the areas around and south of Syracuse. Lighter snow showers elsewhere in the region will dissipate as the morning goes on.

An area of light snow will track from west to east between 7 PM and Midnight Saturday evening. Limited lake effect will develop behind this before ending early Sunday morning.

finger lakes weather snow map saturday february 29 2020
Snowfall through 6 PM Saturday. A few isolated locations may slightly exceed these amounts, depending on the location of small squalls. Click to enlarge.


Snowfall amounts will vary based on where squalls develop and the intensity of the squalls. Like summertime thunderstorm, pinpointing the exact location of these ahead of time is difficult to impossible. These squalls could result in snow amounts an inch or two greater than surrounding areas.

Generally speaking, areas west of I-390, north of I-90, and in the hills southeast of Lake Ontario have the best chance at seeing over an inch of snow.

Locally 4-8 inches will be possible along the shore of Lake Ontario in Wayne and northern Cayuga county. Amounts will decrease the further from Lake Ontario a location is.


Temperatures will fall into the mid and upper teens tonight. Saturday will only see modest rises in temperatures, with highs in the upper teens and low 20s.


Generally, minor to slight travel impacts are expected through the mid-morning on Saturday. Conditions will vary by location, and many roads may remain in good shape much of the time.

The worst travel conditions will be found within any squalls, which will briefly reduce visibility and cause a quick, slick coating of snow on the roads.


Winds will diminish after sunset tonight with gusts at or below 25 mph through Saturday. Minor blowing and drifting will result.


Medium- Given the changing nature of the lake effect over the next 24 hours and the propensity for very isolated squalls to develop, snowfall amounts may exceed the forecast in some localized areas. However, these over-performances should not be enough to significantly alter the basic message of the forecast of a primarily low impact event.


Another 1-3 inches will fall in localized areas Saturday night in the favored lake effect areas of the northeastern Finger Lakes. This snow should end by or slightly after dawn Sunday.

Snow is not expected again until perhaps late next week as temperatures rise above normal Monday-Thursday.


  • Saturday morning blog post or graphical update (Between 7-9 AM Saturday)
  • Regular Monday morning blog post (Between 7-8 AM Monday)


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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.