Snow continues to fall across much of the Finger Lakes this morning as a snow band remains parked over the area.
By now, the low pressure center of this storm is east of Maine and snow has cleared out of almost all of the Northeastern United States. The only exception is this lingering snow band, which stretches from the St. Lawrence Seaway to northeastern Pennsylvania.
Light to moderate snow will continue within this band this morning with an additional couple of inches falling. The band should slowly shift east. This may keep at least flurries in the area deep into the afternoon, especially for the eastern half of the region.
Northwest winds gusting to 30 mph will continue as well, creating areas of blowing and drifting snow. Travel conditions will remain poor, though the main roads should begin to improve through the morning.
This has certainly been a memorable event for its duration, intensity at times, and for having a mind of its own and consistently going outside of expectations. Even though some areas ultimately got into their predicted snow zones, it was for the wrong reasons. Many areas, including my house, vastly overshot the forecast.
This is the nature of science, but it is important to complete the scientific method by reviewing and learning from the event, which is something I will be doing for some time!
Eventually, the snow will stop and skies will begin to clear. For the western half of the Finger Lakes, a little sun will be possible before it sets today. To the east, the clearing will be less complete as it takes hold overnight.
A few areas of lake effect clouds will linger into early Thursday, but with no associated snowfall. Sunny skies will overspread the entire region during the morning and linger through the afternoon.
Temperatures will climb into the 30s Thursday afternoon. The I-390 corridor may reach into the upper 30s, while the I-81 corridor looks more like low 30s. The warmer temperatures and sunshine will help compact the fluffy snow from the storm, reducing the on-the-ground snow depth without melting much.
Thursday’s winds will start from the northwest at around 10 mph, but will weaken through the day. Calm winds are expected late before a turn to the southeast overnight.
Snow will move back into the area Friday morning as a warm front moves through. Little to no mixing is expected with other precipitation types, and only an inch or two of accumulation should fall.
Temperatures Friday afternoon should end up near 40 before dropping late in the day.
Cold air will move back in and some lake effect snow showers will develop for Saturday. With southwest winds, these will be most likely in the northwestern Finger Lakes, coming off Lake Erie. Highs Saturday will be in the low and mid 20s with a few pockets not even reaching 20 degrees.
Sunday has been prompting lots of questions due to another pending storm. The European model has backed off of the nor’easter potential altogether, instead showing a couple of minor, separate systems Sunday and Monday.
Just as it is too early to say a big storm will happen, so too is it too early to say nothing at all will come to pass, either. Continue to monitor the forecast and anticipate at least a chance for some light snow.
Cold air will exert itself again next week with daily highs near or below 20 degrees. A steady stream of lake effect clouds and snow should keep overnight temperatures above zero. Of course, this also means more snow accumulations will be possible. Stay tuned.
A Personal Note
A tremendous amount of work goes into forecasting a major storm, starting days before the first flakes fall. Monday evening, as Phase 2 started here in Groton, I was outside marveling that so many people not only rely on my forecasts, but put their finances behind their support, allowing me to follow my passion.
It is a truly humbling feeling, and I was just in awe of the support.
Tuesday morning, after forecasting, I checked my Facebook memories, and realized that it was on February 2, 2006…fifteen years ago yesterday…that I began my daily forecasting career while just a junior in high school by launching my first weather website.
Again, it was such an awesome feeling to realize how far this path has taken me and how many people I’ve had the honor of talking with and hopefully helping.
Then, as the morning went on, the forecast fell apart. The storm took a mind of its own. When it was supposed to ramp up, it died down. When it was supposed to wind down, it reached an unexpected peak in intensity and coverage.
In the past, such an occurrence would have greatly discouraged me. And while I now look at such occurrences through the lens of science and their inevitability, the kindness, support, and encouragement I received from so many of you once again overwhelmed me.
I am so truly honored to be able to serve and help you. I love being able to do what I do: making these forecasts, answering your questions, having a laugh with the good natured and appropriately placed humor in the comment threads.
This community we have built is so special, and I am only a small part of it. Without you, none of this would be possible. Without your loyalty, dedication, reports, comments, and support, Finger Lakes Weather would not exist.
To sum it all up, I cannot state enough how much I appreciate all you do for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!