Latest winter weather event clips the Finger Lakes region

finger lakes weather forecast snow map thursday february 18 2021 friday february 19 2021
After light snow with few impacts today, steadier snow with some accumulation will move in for tonight and very early Friday.

Light to Moderate Accumulations

A weather system will track well to our south over the next 36 hours, generally bringing light snow to most of the region.

A little light snow out ahead of the main precipitation area is scattered about the Finger Lakes already this morning. This snow should accumulate no more than a dusting as it struggles to remain intact.

On and off snow showers will continue today and this afternoon, eventually becoming widespread and steadier this evening.

Most areas should see an inch or less of accumulation during the daytime hours today. Just a whisper of an east wind will blow and temperatures will top out in the mid to perhaps upper 20s.

Steady light snow will continue through the evening. For the southeastern half of the region, the snow should pick up a bit after midnight with periods of moderate snowfall rates. This will continue into early Friday morning.

The Friday morning commute may have some sloppy roads, but road crews should be able to quickly catch up. Ultimately, road conditions will probably depend mostly on treatment plans. If you have to travel in an area in the 2-4 or 4-8 inch range on the map above before sunrise Friday, plan for some extra time.

Light snow will continue on and off throughout Friday, but with little additional accumulation. By noon, temperatures will start rising to the 30s, ending accumulation.

In all, much of the region is looking at one or two inches. Two to four inches will accumulate from Bath to Elmira to Ithaca and Cortland. In and around Tioga county, up to six inches may fall, but it seems unlikely that snow totals will go higher than that. These are storm total amounts from now through Noon Friday, but the heaviest will be in the period between midnight tonight and sunrise Friday.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday february 18 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Lake Effect, then a Pattern Change

As the widespread snow tapers off Friday afternoon, lake effect will develop in its place. Initially, the lake effect will be a spray of flurries and a couple squalls early Friday evening. Overnight, the lake effect will organize somewhat, with more consolidated areas of snow across the northern and eastern halves of the Finger Lakes.

The lake effect will continue across the north Saturday morning, then drop south and eventually dissipate during the midday and afternoon hours.

In the most persistent snows, an additional two to four inches may fall with an isolated amount up to six inches. This is most likely near and north of I-90. Further south, an inch or two will be more common, but a few areas in the Southern Tier may not even get an inch.

High temperatures Saturday will reach the mid 20s. Skies will clear Saturday night, sending temperatures into the low teens Sunday morning. Sunshine and an eventual shift in the wind to the south will push temperatures into the low 30s Sunday afternoon.

An area of snow will move through Monday morning along a warm front. A few flurries or rain showers will linger into the afternoon with highs in the mid and upper 30s. Another system will bring a few rain and snow showers on Tuesday with highs around 40.

Wednesday looks sunny and mild with highs at least into the 40s. The end of next week looks a bit unsettled, causing highs to retreat into the 30s.

Temperatures are expected to remain generally in the 30s, or warmer, into the first part of March at least.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday february 18 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.