Unsettled Early Week
The Finger Lakes will have a showery start to the week as a frontal boundary strengthens over the region and does not move until late in the day.
South winds over the region this morning are clashing with northeast winds north of Lake Ontario. The south winds are bringing in milder air relative to rather cold air over Ontario, Canada. This clashing of the air masses is leading to widespread scattered showers throughout the region.
The front will slowly drift southeast, keeping showers in the area throughout the day. It may not rain steadily all day, but the on and off nature of the showers will linger well into the evening.
Rain amounts will generally be around a quarter-inch, but areas that see a few longer periods of rain could see upwards of a half-inch.
Temperatures will rise into the low 50s this afternoon thanks to the south wind. The wind will turn to the northwest during the late afternoon as the front moves through. Wind speeds will be between 5-10 mph throughout the day.
Behind the front, evening temperatures will fall in to the low and mid 40s. The temperature should drop a few more degrees overnight with most areas within a degree or two of 40 by Tuesday morning.
There may still be a few showers lingering on Tuesday, especially early on and again later in the afternoon. These showers may get some enhancement from the Great Lakes. Most of Tuesday will be dry though, albeit quite cloudy.
Most areas will only rise about five degrees over the course of the day, topping out in the mid 40s.
Lake effect clouds and a few showers will linger Tuesday night, helping keep temperatures between 35-40 degrees for most of the region.
Wednesday will become increasingly sunny as temperatures push back into the low 50s.
First Taste of Winter?
A large shot of cold weather is invading the middle of the country this week with record cold and wintry precipitation as far south as Texas.
Meanwhile, a little over 500 miles east, coastal Louisiana is getting ready for yet another landfalling tropical system. Zeta is expected to make landfall Wednesday evening as a minimal hurricane.
As Zeta makes landfall, the slow moving wintry storm system will be tracking northeast across Oklahoma. The two systems will already be interacting, with widespread precipitation falling across the mid-Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys.
This complex will work northeast and it looks increasingly likely, though not yet a full on certainty, that the Finger Lakes will get the northern edge of this system.
As things look now, clouds will thicken Thursday morning with rain arriving from the south during the afternoon hours. Temperatures will reach a high in the mid 40s.
Heavy rain could fall Thursday evening as the low associated with Zeta tracks into the Mid-Atlantic. As that low departs, the second piece will lag behind, extending precipitation into Friday.
Cold air will be pulled south into the system, changing our rain to snow by Friday morning.
There are several uncertainties that could easily change the forecast over the next few days. First, not all models show our region getting into the precipitation. Everything could miss to the south. Next, the duration of the precipitation behind the first piece Thursday evening could end up brief.
It does seem likely, however, that we will at least see snow mixing in if the precipitation makes it this far north. The cold air is very likely, with highs Friday stuck in the 30s.
Of course, these questions will have a large impact on the amount of rain and any potential snow accumulations. Be prepared for a snowy commute Friday morning though, just in case.
Behind this system, next weekend looks quiet. Halloween will be sunny but cold. Morning lows should start in the 20s, or even teens if there is a snowpack. Daytime highs will struggle to 40 degrees, with 30s for the evening.
Sunday will be warmer, with highs returning to near 50 degrees. A few rain showers could return, but this remains highly uncertain at this point.
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