Wintry week with cold temperatures and mid-week snow threat

finger lakes weather forecast monday december 14 2020 cold snow wintry weather
Besides the mid-week snow event that should clip the region, temperatures this week as a whole will be colder than they have yet this season. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Feeling the Season

Winter will make its presence felt more this week than in any other week so far this season with cold temperatures and a major mid-week storm system that should clip the southeastern Finger Lakes.

Starting with today, there are two systems impacting the Finger Lakes. First is a low pressure system passing through the Mid-Atlantic, which is not at all related to the system coming through the same areas in a couple days.

An area of snow on the northern edge of this system is moving through the southeastern Finger Lakes this morning for places like Elmira, Ithaca, and Cortland. Snowflake sizes are large within this band, but snowfall rates are low. A coating to an inch is possible as this snow band tracks east and exits the region by mid-morning.

The second system is dropping southeast through the Great Lakes. This will bring scattered snow showers this afternoon and early evening across the entire region. Individual snow showers will not last too long, and accumulations should be limited to a light coating.

Today’s winds will turn to the northwest and increase this afternoon, reaching speeds of 10-15 mph and gusts as high as 30 mph by the late afternoon.

Still, temperatures should range through the 30s, with upper 30s from Syracuse to Geneva, Penn Yan, and Ithaca with mid 30s most other areas. A few higher elevations in the western Southern Tier may stick to the low 30s.

Overnight, a few narrow fingers of lake effect snow will develop and drift around the region. Since the bands will be small and transient, accumulations should again be limited to a coating to perhaps an inch in a few localized areas.

Overnight temperatures will fall into the 20s, with mid and upper 20s near lake shores and low 20s across the Southern Tier and especially in higher elevations.

A few flurries may linger early Tuesday, but high pressure building in from the northwest will make lake effect conditions unfavorable. Still, clouds will linger until some breaks of sunshine late. A steady north wind will hold temperatures in the mid and upper 20s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday december 14 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Latest on Wednesday-Thursday Snow Event

The main focus for the week continues to be on a strong low pressure that will dump heavy snow across parts of the Northeast Wednesday into Thursday.

The energy that will spawn this system is now far inland over Nevada, allowing a greater amount of observational detail to be incorporated into the models. This already seems to be tightening the range of possibilities, and if trends continue, I should be able to publish a snow map tomorrow morning or even tonight.

The heaviest snow is almost certainly not going to come into the Finger Lakes, instead favoring a belt from the mountains of West Virginia, across south-central Pennsylvania, into northeastern Pennsylvania, and then east across far southeastern New York and the southern coast of New England.

That does not mean we are totally out of the woods with plowable snow likely across the Southern Tier and especially east of Corning. The gradient of snow amounts will be tight on the northern edge of this system though, so areas in the vicinity of I-90 have little chance of seeing significant snow.

This snow is expected to move into the region late Wednesday afternoon and evening and mostly fall overnight. By Thursday morning, the snow will be pulling out with sunshine possible for the afternoon.

Winds will remain light with this system, with top gusts at or under 20 mph through Wednesday and Thursday. A few places may manage to hit 30 degrees on Wednesday before the snow moves in with low and mid 20s during the snow Wednesday night. Thursday’s highs will be in the upper 20s and low 30s.

High pressure will build in behind the system for Friday with plenty of sunshine. The clear skies Thursday night may send temperatures into the teens or even single digits for areas that get a snowpack. Highs will rebound to the upper 20s and low 30s Friday afternoon.

A few rain or snow showers will be possible this weekend and into early next week, but no major weather systems are expected at this time. Highs will generally be in the 30s to low 40s as we approach Christmas.

Areas that see significant snow this week may be able to hold on to the snow cover for a White Christmas, but areas further north that miss out on the heavy snow will probably end up without snow by Christmas.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Zip Code Forecasts

» Your Forecast
finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday december 14 2020This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

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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.

4 Responses

  1. terry carlisle
    |

    Drew: I believe I processed a $100.00 donation yesterday, 12/13/20. Can you please verify? Thank you, Terry Carlisle, I have not received any acknowledgement. terrycarlisle@htva.net

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      Hi Terry. I do NOT see any donations from you yesterday. Thank you for your support!

  2. Dan M
    |

    HI Drew,
    Thanks for all the great info! Can you clarify what you define as Central NY, Finger Lakes, and Southern Tier regions? Which region is Ithaca and Tompkins County in? It frequently feels like we are on the edge of all three depending where you are in the county.
    Thanks,
    Dan

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      Hi Dan. When I use broad, unspecific regions, it is because the weather is not specific enough to get better than that. So if one person considers Ithaca in the Southern Tier and another doesn’t…it really isn’t a big deal. As things get more specific, so to will my descriptions or maps.

      For me, personally, Southern Tier = counties bordering Pennsylvania, Central New York = counties containing I-81 and east, and Finger Lakes = any location between Conesues and Otisco lakes on the east-west axis, and between the north and south tips of the given lakes on a north-south axis.

      Ithaca, therefore, is more Finger Lakes than anything else in my mind.