Weak low bumps temperatures up today, produces lake effect snow tonight

finger lakes weather forecast monday december 28 2020 rain snow low pressure lake effect
Low pressure will bring little precipitation to the Finger Lakes today, but some lake effect snow will be possible behind it tonight. [Photo by Nanci McCraine]

Shifting Winds

A weak area of low pressure is tracking through southeastern Canada today, passing well to our west and north.

Ahead of this low, a band of rain and snow moved through the Finger Lakes early this morning. This precipitation is far to the east already and was the main precipitation associated with the low.

A few rain showers and flurries will still be possible from time to time today, but none of the precipitation should be heavy or meaningful. Otherwise, skies will remain mostly cloudy today.

Gusty south winds this morning will help push temperatures in the low 40s during the late morning and early afternoon hours. Winds will turn to the west this afternoon and drop in speed slightly. Cooler air will move in and temperatures will drop back into the 30s this afternoon and 20s this evening.

Scattered lake effect snow showers and a few heavier squalls will develop this evening and continue into the overnight. Individual snow showers will not last long, but most areas should see a little snow this evening.

The lake effect will focus along and north of I-90 in the hours leading up to dawn Tuesday, then drop southeast Tuesday morning as winds turn to the northwest. Periods of low visibility and slick travel will be possible with some squalls developing.

The snow will weaken by midday, but flurries will linger southeast of Lake Ontario into the afternoon. Total accumulations between the overnight and Tuesday will range from a coating in most areas to locally up to two inches, especially near and southeast of Lake Ontario.

Winds will increase Tuesday morning with gusts over 30 mph persisting into the mid afternoon. Incoming high pressure will then cause the winds to drop and some sunshine will even be possible before the day is done.

Temperatures will change little throughout Tuesday, mostly sitting in the low and mid 20s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday december 28 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Staying Active

Partly cloudy to mostly clear skies Tuesday night will send temperatures in the teens and single digits for Wednesday morning. However, winds will turn back to the south and thin clouds will move in toward dawn, keeping temperatures from getting quite as cold as they could.

Clouds will thicken further on Wednesday, and a few flurries cannot be ruled out as a warm front slides through. Highs on Wednesday should range from the low 40s in and around Rochester to the low 30s in the higher elevations from Elmira to Cortland.

Precipitation will increase Wednesday night. Most will fall as rain, but some snow and even some sleet will also be possible. This precipitation should be light with few travel impacts. Precipitation will continue into Thursday, but should taper off as some snow showers during the afternoon.

A stronger weather system is expected for Friday. Precipitation is mainly expected to be rain, but could start off with some ice. This will be something to monitor over the next couple days.

A quieter pattern looks possible behind that system, with little activity currently expected for next week. Sustained cold air and snow will continue to be lacking, with highs above 35 expected for much of the next two weeks with little to no widespread snow.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday december 28 2020

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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.