Week starts cool, but ends milder

finger lakes weather forecast monday november 16 2020 windy cool lake effect
Winds will remain blustery for the next few days as cold air digs in, producing scattered lake effect. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Behind Sunday’s Storm

A strong low pressure system to our north will continue to influence our weather for the next couple of days.

Southwest winds around this low will gradually turn to the west today while remaining blustery. The wind will not be as strong as yesterday, but gusts of 35-45 mph will be common today, especially in the late morning and early afternoon.

Cool air will move in with these winds, prompting some limited lake effect off Lake Erie. With high temperatures in the upper 30s and low 40s, the lake effect should be limited to a few showers and flurries spreading east across the Finger Lakes.

None of today’s precipitation should be heavy or particularly long lasting. The lake effect should diminish during the afternoon.

Skies will remain cloudy throughout the day, but some breaks in the clouds may move in this evening. Wind should also drop significantly during this time.

A subtle disturbance will rotate around the low and through the region later tonight. This may bring an hour or two of more widespread flurries and a change in the wind direction to the northwest.

Tuesday morning will start with temperatures ranging from the upper 20s in the coldest pockets to the mid 30s along the lake shores.

A spray of on and off flurries and a few heavier bursts of snow will come off Lake Ontario and persist throughout the day. Any bursts may briefly coat the grass, but with temperatures still in the mid and upper 30s, no real accumulations are expected, and travel conditions will remain clear.

Winds may still gust as high as 35 mph on Tuesday, with the strongest winds again coming in the afternoon.

Temperatures Tuesday night will range from the mid 20s to the low 30s. The colder temperatures will allow the lake effect to coalesce into a few narrow bands, which could bring a coating to an inch of snow to localized areas.

Flurries will likely linger into Wednesday morning before dissipating. The rest of the day will be cloudy and cold with highs struggling into the low 30s. Winds will continue to blow from the northwest with a few gusts going as high as 30 mph.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday november 16 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Flip the Switch

Our weather pattern will undergo a sudden switch between Wednesday and Thursday as warmer air surges back to the north.

Winds will turn to the south Wednesday night, but temperatures should still be in the 20s most of the night. Just before dawn, temperatures will rise back into the low 30s for the northern half of the region.

Warm air will have an easier time working into areas west of Canandaigua Lake and north of I-90 on Thursday. Highs here should be 20-25 degrees warmer than Wednesday, reaching the low and mid 50s. Further southeast, mid and upper 40s look more likely.

A deck of thin clouds seems likely on Thursday, which should filter the sunshine at a minimum.

There will be a better chance for sun on Friday, though scattered clouds are still expected. The entire region will get into the mild air, with highs in the upper 50s and a few low 60s.

The weather for the weekend is a bit less certain, however. A cold front will develop and slowly press south into the region. At this time, Saturday looks to be on the warm side of the front with more 50s. The later the weekend goes, the higher the likelihood of cooler air moving in.

Given how far in advance this still is, there is very low confidence and the trends on the computer models will need to be monitored for the next few days to get a better sense for what the weather will ultimately do.

This front may stick around into early next week before low pressure brings more widespread rain and cooler temperatures.

More Information:

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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 and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.

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