Icy mix moves in tonight

finger lakes weather forecast friday january 1 2021 cloudy freezing rain icy mix tonight
Icy conditions are likely late this afternoon and evening as a period of freezing rain moves into the Finger Lakes from the southwest.

Freezing Rain Likely

An incoming storm system will spread an icy mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow into the Finger Lakes for several hours tonight before warmer air changes all precipitation to rain.

Out ahead of this system, clouds will steadily increase this morning and skies will be overcast for the afternoon. Precipitation is not expected to arrive until late in the day, though.

High temperatures this afternoon will reach the low and mid 30s. As the sun sets and precipitation starts to move in, temperatures will drop several degrees and end up below freezing.

The onset of the precipitation has been nudged earlier, first arriving in the southwest by 4 PM, then spreading northeastward across the remainder of the region before 7 PM. For a more specific time estimate for your location, check your Zip Code ForecastZip Code Forecast.

Most of the precipitation should fall as freezing rain through the evening hours. Snow, sleet, and plain rain will mix in based on several localized features. The further south and the higher in elevation, the greater the chances for seeing significant icing.

Ice amounts will likely vary greatly from one location to the next due to complexities such as terrain and how quickly temperatures rise above freezing. At most, around a quarter-inch of ice is possible, but most areas will probably see less than a tenth of an inch.

Still, even a glaze of ice, which most areas should see, will make travel difficult late this afternoon and evening. Avoid travel as much as possible.

By midnight, most areas should warm above freezing, changing the precipitation to regular rain. Travel conditions will improve as temperatures warm into the mid and upper 30s.

South-southeast winds will gust over 30 mph on occasion, especially over higher elevations. These winds, combined with the potential for an ice load, could cause some downed branches and isolated power outages.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday january 1 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Sunday Snow

Rain showers will linger into Saturday morning as temperatures push into the low 40s. Low pressure will pass overhead during the mid-morning, causing the precipitation to taper off and cooler air to move in behind the low.

Temperatures will fall back into the mid and upper 30s Saturday afternoon. Any lingering showers will turn to flurries, but most areas will not see snow on Saturday. West winds behind the low may gust over 30 mph for a few hours during the midday and early afternoon.

Skies will remain mostly cloudy Saturday afternoon and into Saturday night. New clouds will move in early Sunday ahead of the next weather system.

Light snow will move in Sunday afternoon, possibly mixing with some sleet or rain at times. Most of the precipitation looks like snow at this point, though.

A band of steady, moderate snow may develop for the late afternoon and early evening, which could put down 3-5 inches. This seems most likely across the southeastern Finger Lakes, but remains uncertain. The snow should clear out before dawn Monday.

High temperatures Sunday will be in the low and mid 30s. Little change in temperature is expected Sunday night, with most areas hovering near freezing.

Several weak impulses of energy will pass through Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. These will keep a few flurries and/or rain showers in the area, but no significant impact is expected from any of this.

Temperatures will remain steady, with lows all three days in the neighborhood of 30 degrees and afternoon highs mostly in the mid 30s.

Thursday looks quieter before the weather becomes too uncertain for specifics late next week. Temperatures should remain in the 30s, at least until the weekend and possibly longer. No significant shots of cold and snow are expected through at least mid-January.

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday january 1 2021This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Gail Burger Dalmat

    Hi, Drew, there’s a typo in the 14588 zip code for this evening. [Up to a then of an inch of ice, with higher elevations most at risk.] I’m thinking maybe it was an autocorrect from a third of an inch? Which is enough to slip for sure!!!
    Hoping for a happy New Year for you and yours!!!

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      It should read a tenth of an inch. I’ll get it fixed!