Brief warm up through Thanksgiving, then more Lake Effect

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday november 24 2021 sun clouds showers thanksgiving snow black friday
The weather will have few impacts through Thanksgiving, but strong winds and areas of snow will make the weather Black Friday more meaningful. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Thanksgiving Weather

Despite Wednesday getting off to a rather cold start, warmer weather will build into the area today and persist through Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.

Most of the region is starting in the mid and upper 20s this morning, but some teens have snuck into Central New York and parts of the Southern Tier.

Bright, sun-filled skies and a gentle southerly breeze will help push temperatures up quickly this morning. By this afternoon, most areas will be in the mid 40s with some low 40s hanging on in Cortland and Tioga counties. A few areas west of Rochester could sneak into the upper 40s.

Clouds will push in from the west this afternoon. These should be thin enough to allow sunshine to filter through until it sets.

Temperatures will initially drop to the low and mid 30s this evening. South winds will increase to 5-10 mph and clouds will continue to thicken. Most areas should gain several degrees overnight, with mostly upper 30s and low 40s by Thursday morning. Once again, though, some areas will be cooler, with low 30s in Cortland County and some mid 30s across the Southern Tier.

Clouds will be thick by Thursday morning and an initial batch of light, scattered showers will move through during the early and mid morning hours. After a break in the rain, and perhaps a few glimpses of sunshine, additional showers are likely to arrive during the mid-afternoon hours.

High temperatures on Thanksgiving Day will be similar to today but with less variation. Most areas will be within a couple degrees of 45 degrees. Rochester will be a bit warmer, and some higher elevations of the western Southern Tier a bit cooler.

Winds will remain gentle from the south and southwest with speeds under 10 mph.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday november 24 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Lake Effect Snow Again

Rain showers will continue on and off through Thursday night. By the time stores begin to open in the predawn hours Friday, a cold front will be marching through the region.

Temperatures ahead of the front will stay in the low 40s Thursday night but will drop quickly to the low and mid 30s by the time the sun rises. Just a few showers and flurries are expected through the mid-morning hours.

A secondary front will move in for the midday hours Friday, leading to more widespread snow. With northwest winds setting up, some enhancement off Lake Ontario is likely. With temperatures continuing to fall into the upper 20s and low 30s, road conditions will start to deteriorate, especially around and after sunset.

A widespread coating to inch is possible during the daytime hours Friday. Then, lake effect will crank up over the northeastern Finger Lakes Friday evening. Several inches of snow are likely across the favored snowbelts of Wayne, Cayuga, and Onondaga counties. Some areas could see over six inches, but the details are still a bit uncertain at this point.

In addition to the snow and cold, strong winds will also develop on Friday. Northwest winds will gust between 30-40 mph frequently Friday afternoon and into the evening. With the snow, especially the heavier lake effect Friday evening, the wind will create poor visibility and difficult travel conditions.

Winds will remain blustery well into Saturday but will gradually weaken. Lake effect snow will also weaken, though at least some snow is likely southeast of Lake Ontario most of the day.

Temperatures on Saturday will start in the mid and upper 20s with some teens possible for typically cooler areas that do not see much in the way of lake effect cloud cover. High temperatures Saturday will struggle to get much above 30 in lower elevations with upper or even mid 20s for highs in the hills.

A chilly and unsettled pattern will settle in thereafter. Several chances for snow showers will develop, starting late Sunday and early Monday. None of these snow events look as though they will bring anything more than a coating to an inch of accumulation.

Highs will settle in the mid 30s for much of next week until another push of 40s moves in late in the week.

I will have a brief update during the mid-morning hours tomorrow on the snow potential for Friday, followed by a full, normally scheduled update Friday morning. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday november 24 2021
This 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.