Week off to a snowy start, but warm weather is on the way

finger lakes weather forecast monday november 2 2020 lake effect snow windy warming trend
Lake effect snow this morning will taper off, but return late in the afternoon. By Wednesday, the snow will be a thing of the past as temperatures warm significantly. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Lake Effect Snow

A spray of lake effect snow is situated over the Finger Lakes this morning southeast of Lake Ontario.

As expected, the greatest accumulations have been in the hills south of Syracuse, though many areas across the region are waking up to at least a little white. Allow for some extra commute time if you are out and about, and use extra caution since this is the first snow.

The snow will diminish over the course of the morning as winds shift over Lake Ontario and disrupt the snow bands. Some breaks of sunshine may develop from the late morning into the mid afternoon.

Winds will remain strong with gusts of 35-45 mph through the afternoon, causing some areas of blowing and drifting snow. The wind will gradually shift from the northwest to the west. A further shift to the southwest will occur in the late afternoon, at which time the wind speed will start to drop.

Snow will break out again between 4-6 PM, extending east from Lake Erie across most of the Finger Lakes. The snow will concentrate on areas south of I-90, but north of the counties that boarder Pennsylvania. Higher elevations could pick up another inch or two, while lower elevations see little to no accumulation.

Up to this point in the day, temperatures will have mostly stuck in the low and mid 30s. As the snow tapers off between 8-10 PM, temperatures will start to rise to the upper 30s and low 40s. These temperatures should remain in place through the night and into early Tuesday.

A final wind shift in the predawn hours Tuesday will bring a stronger lake effect band from Lake Ontario south through the region. With the warmer temperatures, at least some areas will see rain instead of snow. Elevation will again be a factor.

This band will quickly move south and dissipate by the mid-morning hours on Tuesday. The rest of the day will be cloudy with a few breaks of sun. Winds will be from the northwest but will be decreasing. Morning gusts may exceed 30 mph, but afternoon gusts should be closer to 20 mph.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday november 2 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Sudden, Significant Pattern Change

A proverbial switch will be flipped in the atmosphere on Wednesday as we leave the cold and snow far behind and kick off a very different pattern.

Sunny skies will become abundant on Wednesday and winds will swing around to the south. Temperatures will shoot into the low and mid 60s, and there will be no looking back.

Each day through early next week should have temperatures well into the 60s with more sunshine than not. Nighttime temperatures during this stretch will generally be above 40 degrees.

A few days, like Thursday, may have some thin clouds, but no rain is expected during this stretch of weather.

Winds will remain light as well, especially through the weekend, when calm winds are expected for several days.

It will not be until the middle of next week that rain will become possible again, with good agreement already showing on the models for a weather system next Wednesday. Temperatures behind that system will cool but look to be closer to average in the upper 40s or low 50s.

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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.