Snow and blowing snow continue with cold temperatures

finger lakes weather forecast friday january 29 2021 snow lake effect blowing snow cold
Cold temperatures and gusty winds will keep snow and blowing snow in the forecast for Friday. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Cold Weekend

Gusty northwest winds will continue today, leading to lake effect snow, blowing snow, and cold temperatures.

Once again this morning, a spray of generally light lake effect snow showers exists across the region with a heavier band of snow off Cayuga Lake and even Otisco Lake.

The Cayuga Lake effect band in particular will bring a couple more inches to areas between Ithaca and Newark Valley this morning, keeping road conditions messy. With winds expected to stay rather steady, this band could last through the morning and into the early afternoon.

Elsewhere, snow showers will be on and off with up to an inch or so of accumulation. A little sun between snow showers will be possible.

Winds will gust to 30 mph throughout the day, especially across the southern half of the region. Since the snow that has fallen is very light and fluffy, significant blowing and drifting snow will result.

Temperatures will also be cold enough today that road salt will not be overly effective in clearing the roads. High temperatures will mostly be in the low to mid teens, though parts of Cortland County, in particular, may not even reach 10 degrees.

The lake effect will gradually wind down this afternoon, only to flare back up this evening. A couple more inches will be possible overnight and into Saturday morning.

Yet again, winds look favorable for a band of snow off Cayuga Lake tomorrow morning, so travel in and around Ithaca and areas southeast will be trickier than elsewhere. The lake effect should die off for the afternoon as high pressure builds in.

Winds will not be as strong tomorrow, with peak gusts of 15-20 mph. High temperatures should be in the mid and upper teens.

Areas of lake effect clouds will linger Saturday night, and new thin clouds higher in the atmosphere will move in from the southwest. This will keep temperatures a bit warmer than they were expected to be a few days ago, but it will still be plenty cold.

Most areas will start Sunday either just above or just below zero. Valleys of the Southern Tier, and especially into Cortland County, will have the best shot at getting to or below -5. Lakeshores should stay near or above +5.

Sunshine will filter through the thin clouds on Sunday as winds turn to the east. Temperatures should reach the 20s for most areas, but few if any areas will get above 25 degrees.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday january 29 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Warming Trend Next Week

Temperatures will be cool, but not quite so cold for the first part of next week before ending quite mild.

Before we get to the temperatures, though, Monday and Tuesday’s weather needs addressing.

For several days, I’ve cautiously been mentioning an area of low pressure that has been expected to pass to our south. Whether any snow reaches the Finger Lakes has been a major question.

The models have begun to consolidate, reducing the variability and increasing the confidence in the forecast. The chances for snow in the Finger Lakes has dropped significantly with the storm system remaining to our south and east.

It is not a 100% slam dunk forecast yet, and I will continue to monitor it through the weekend. At this time, though, Monday and Tuesday look quiet with a fair amount of sunshine.

Temperatures both Monday and Tuesday should range through the 20s, with higher elevations in the low 20s and a few warmer areas in the upper 20s. Most will stick to the mid 20s.

High pressure will build in behind the system as it moves out over the Atlantic Ocean. A sunny day is likely Wednesday, with temperatures ranging between 25-30 degrees.

Some clouds will start to build in on Thursday, but temperatures will continue to climb as winds turn to the south. Look for highs to reach the mid and upper 30s.

Our next weather maker will move in late Friday as a rain maker. Temperatures will push into the 40s on Friday and Saturday. The rain should not be particularly heavy, and snow looks unlikely on the backside of that system.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday january 29 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.

5 Responses

  1. K

    Will road conditions be good on Sunday? My daughter will be driving by herself back to Cornell from NJ.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Main roads should be just fine. Some back roads may still be a bit messy.

  2. Karen

    Hi, Drew! Might you update for Ithaca tomorrow morning, Saturday? Thanks –

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Hi Karen! I don’t typically do blogs on the weekend but will take a look at conditions and see. In the meantime, here is my forecast for Ithaca. When I made this forecast, I specifically put in for another Cayuga Lake band…

      • Karen

        Thanks so much; you are a Fingerlakes Gem!