Some sun Tuesday before light snow early Wednesday

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday december 8 2020 sun snow rain lake effect
Sunnier skies will build in for a time this afternoon, but snow will be falling again by dawn Wednesday. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Brief Sunny, Snowy Windows

A cool northwest flow of air continues to come across Lake Ontario but will be interrupted later today.

Lake effect is limited to just a few stray flurries this morning, especially south-southeast of Cayuga Lake. No accumulation is expected from any snow this morning, and the flurries should dissipate by the early afternoon.

High pressure over the mid-Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys will turn our winds to the west and southwest this afternoon. This wind shift will be aided by a weak low moving across southern Canada.

The shifting winds will remove the lake moisture from the atmosphere and skies should clear. Sunshine will spread from southwest to northeast this afternoon, but the window will be brief. New, thin clouds out ahead of the low will be quick to fill in as the sun sets, especially for the western half of the region.

Temperatures will get a small boost from the wind shift and sunshine, reaching highs mostly in the low and mid 30s. Areas in and around Cortland county may stick to the upper 20s.

A quick drop into the mid 20s will occur this evening, but then temperatures will rise back to around 30 by midnight. Temperatures will hold steady from there and snow will start to arrive in the hours leading up to dawn.

Light snow will continue into Wednesday morning but should become less widespread before the midday hours. Precipitation will transition to lake effect for the afternoon, favoring the same areas along and east of a line from Wayne County southeastward to near Ithaca.

During the afternoon, the snow may mix with or turn to rain across the northern half of this region and especially along and north of I-90. Meanwhile, the hills south of Syracuse could see an inch or two of accumulation.

High temperatures will vary, with low 30s in higher elevations and upper 30s near lakes, but most areas will end up in the mid 30s.

Lake effect will become better organized, but less widespread Wednesday night into early Thursday. Wayne, northern Cayuga, and Onondaga county have the best chances at seeing some squally weather and minor accumulations.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast tuesday december 8 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.
finger lakes weather 7-day forecast tuesday december 8 2020

Late Week and Weekend Weather

Several days of quiet weather are expected to close out the week and start the weekend before attention turns to a stormier pattern Sunday.

Thursday will play out similar to today, with morning clouds and a few lake effect flurries giving way to some afternoon sunshine as winds shift.

Temperatures will be a fair bit warmer than today though, with most areas near or just above 40 degrees.

Thin clouds high in the atmosphere will filter the sunshine on Friday, but no precipitation is expected. Steady south winds will blow, keeping temperatures elevated. Low 50s will take hold in the I-90 corridor and south into places like Penn Yan and Dansville. Upper 40s will be common for most other areas with mid 40s hanging on in the eastern hills.

Clouds will continue to increase for Saturday and a few showers cannot be ruled out. The best chance for showers will be along the shore of Lake Ontario. The thicker clouds will hold temperatures down a bit with mid and upper 40s.

Rain chances will increase Sunday as low pressure tracks northeast across southern Canada. Winds will increase as well, which could push temperatures well into the 50s.

Cooler air will move back in for early next week, but temperatures look to be too warm for any significant lake response with highs in the 35-40 degree range.

More Information:

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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.