Rain and snow Friday night brings an end to milder temperatures

finger lakes weather forecast friday january 15 2021 clouds mild rain snow lake effect weekend
Temperatures will be at their warmest today, but colder air will move in tonight with rain turning to snow. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Trending Colder

Low pressure over Iowa this morning will weaken as it meanders eastward today, only to redevelop along the New England coast tomorrow.

Southeast winds, which will be blustery at times, will blow across the Finger Lakes out ahead of this system today. Meanwhile, thin clouds will stream in from the southwest, gradually becoming thicker and allowing less and less sunlight to filter through.

Most areas should see highs in the 40s today with just a few higher elevations sticking to the upper 30s.

Rain showers will move in from the southwest late in the day. Most areas will probably not see any precipitation until after sunset, but widespread rain and snow showers will be likely through the evening.

At first, the snow will be confined to higher elevations, but by midnight, most areas should be seeing snow. The snow will slowly track northeast and should mostly be east of Seneca Lake by sunrise Saturday.

By then, higher elevations could have a couple inches, while a coating to an inch or two covers most other areas. Temperatures will be near or just above 30 degrees.

As the low redevelops along the coast, the back edge of the snow will slow down. Snow showers could linger east of Cayuga Lake into the first part of Saturday afternoon, with an additional inch or two falling, especially in the hills south of Syracuse and north of Cortland.

Further west, it will remain cloudy, but precipitation is much less likely. A few areas, such as Rochester, Geneva, and Penn Yan, could even push into the upper 30s Saturday afternoon.

Colder air will continue to move in on west winds that will gust to 25 mph Saturday night. Disorganized lake effect snow showers off Lake Erie will be scattered about the region with overnight lows dropping to the upper 20s and low 30s. Snow showers will continue into Sunday with highs in the mid 30s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday january 15 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Lake Effect Pattern

The coastal low will continue to strengthen on Sunday as it slowly tracks north through Maine and into far eastern Canada. This will cause our winds to shift to the west-northwest with a moisture connection setting up between the Georgian Bay off Lake Huron and Lake Ontario.

This should lead to lake effect snows across the northern half of the Finger Lakes Sunday night, with the band being pushed south Monday morning as winds continue to turn more northerly.

Within this band, several inches of snow may be possible, especially it if remains in place over a single area for several hours. This far out, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty in the exact band placement, movement, and thus, amounts.

Lake snows will gradually wind down on Monday as winds become less favorable. High temperatures on Monday will be around 30 degrees.

A small weather system will pass through on Tuesday with scattered snow showers. South winds ahead of the system will push temperatures into the low and mid 30s, but no higher.

Lake effect snow will flare up again behind this system for Tuesday night and Wednesday. Winds will initially be from the west, sending Lake Erie snows across the central part of the region.

By Wednesday winds will be northwesterly, sending a spray of snow showers through the region. Expect highs around 30 degrees on Wednesday.

Another system will pass through late Thursday into Friday with snow and perhaps a little rain mixing in. More lake effect is expected behind this system.

Cold, wintry air will finally settle into the Finger Lakes as well behind this system. Daily highs for the last week of January are more likely to be near 20 than near 30. Clouds and periods of lake effect snow should generally keep overnight temperatures from getting too cold, though.

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday january 15 2021This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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 and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.