Snowstorm tapers off this morning, leaving wide range of amounts behind

finger lakes weather forecast thursday december 17 2020 snow storm aftermath weekend weather
Snow will end this morning as the storm pulls away, leaving anywhere from 2 to 40 inches in its wake across our region. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Storm Draws to a Close

Low pressure is centered just south of Long Island this morning and drifting eastward, pulling the snow away from the Finger Lakes.

At 8 AM, snow was still falling lightly across the eastern half of the region. This will come to an end over the next couple hours with just a few stray flurries lingering.

Snow amounts vary about as much as they possibly could across the region. Along and north of the Thruway, just a couple inches fell. In Tioga county, 30-40 inches is on the ground.

A preliminary look at snow totals seems to indicate the forecast stood up pretty well. I hope to have more detailed analysis later.

Some breaks of sunshine will push through this afternoon, but clouds will generally hang tough, thanks to some enhancement from Lake Ontario. Winds will be near or under 5 mph from the north and northeast.

High temperatures today will reach the mid and upper 20s. The clouds tonight will help temperatures hold in the 20s or upper teens.

Friday will turn sunnier as high pressure moves in and overtakes the influence from Lake Ontario. Some clouds will still be possible early, but by the afternoon, most areas should have clear skies.

High temperatures Friday will be similar to today, but once the sun sets, the temperature will drop in a hurry. Widespread teens and single digits are likely and a few places could even slip below zero. This is most likely in the typically colder pockets of the Southern Tier and especially where a deep snowpack now exists.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday december 17 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Weather Leading Up to Christmas

Clouds will increase on Saturday and winds will turn to the south out ahead of a weak disturbance. This will be the first in a series of weak systems that keep our weather unsettled, but with minimal impact on day-to-day life.

Temperatures will recover from the cold nighttime with highs ranging through the 30s. The Rochester area will be warmest in the upper 30s, while Cortland and Tioga county are around 30.

Snow showers will overspread the region on Sunday, possibly ending with a little rain mixing it. Monday will be mostly cloudy, with rain and snow showers moving back in on Tuesday.

Sunday and Tuesday will have temperatures in the mid and upper 30s, while Monday reaches the low 40s.

A slightly stronger low pressure system is hinted at on the models by Christmas Eve on Thursday. It is far from certain whether this system will even materialize, and if it did, whether it would bring rain, snow, or both to the region.

If a stronger system did develop, cold air would likely build in for Christmas and the days to follow. If the system does not form, more of the same could be expected with temperatures in the 30s and some occasional rain and snow showers.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday december 17 2020

How much snow did you receive? Let me know here! Thank you for your reports!

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.

  1. John G

    Thanks so much for your fine weather reporting! I will donate once we get the stimulus payment!!!???