Friday-Saturday Lake Effect
A cold front has moved through the Finger Lakes region this morning.
Most areas saw rain, but temperatures are just cold enough to support snow over the eastern Finger Lakes as the precipitation departs this morning. Some roads had some snow on them early, but conditions should improve as road crews treat the roads and the precipitation tapers off.
Lake effect is already ongoing east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario should join with its own lake effect by the late morning. Initially, most of the precipitation will be east of Lake Ontario and north of the Finger Lakes.
Winds will gradually become more northwesterly and snow will track south into the area this afternoon. During the late afternoon and early evening, a widespread spray of snow will exist across most of the area.
After a few hours of widespread snow showers, the snow will consolidate over the eastern Finger Lakes and gradually form into multiple bands of snow. These will continue to weaken overnight, with just flurries or a couple very narrow bands expected by Saturday morning.
As usual with lake effect, localized variations in the snow amounts should be expected. The zones on the map are generalizations and it will not be surprising to see some amounts fall outside of their given zone.
In addition to the snow, winds will be strong, with gusts of 35 mph or locally higher at times. The wind will create areas of blowing snow, even where accumulations are minimal, and will reduce visibility.
The worst travel conditions will come near and in the hours immediately after sunset. Road conditions may vary greatly from location to location. In the northeastern Finger Lakes, where the best support from Lake Ontario will be, even when the snow is widespread, extra travel time will likely be needed on all roads.
Temperatures will hold steady in the low and mid 30s most of the daytime hours today. Toward sunset, a drop into the upper 20s and low 30s will begin. This drop will continue into the night, with many areas reaching the low and mid 20s overnight.
Outside of the localized flurries Saturday, which may continue in a limited sense for much of the day, some sun will work its way out.
Winds will still be blustery, but not quite as strong, with gusts around 30 mph. The wind will still be out of the northwest.
Few areas will manage to get above freezing Saturday, with highs mostly near or just above 30 degrees.
Winds will become light from the south Saturday night and clouds will gradually build in from the southwest. Temperatures will hold in the mid and upper 20s.
Light snow will move in Sunday morning. At first, the snow may have a hard time reaching the ground before it evaporates. Eventually, though, snow will overspread the area as a disturbance moves in.
The steadiest snow will come in the afternoon and evening hours. Temperatures will be on the verge of allowing accumulations on the roadways with low and mid 30s for highs. Main roads will probably remain in fair condition, but secondary roads may be a bit slushy. For the most part, travel impacts will be low to slight.
Most areas should only see an inch or two through Sunday night, but a few localized areas could see a bit more. I will likely have an update late Saturday after or later Sunday morning to update the details on how this system will evolve.
A few snow showers will linger into Monday, possibly aided by some lake effect.
An active weather pattern will keep some snow showers in the forecast for much of next week. None of this snow looks particularly intense or bothersome.
Toward next weekend, there are indications of a higher impact storm system. Be very wary of premature predictions that inevitably take a stand on a cold, snowy scenario while ignoring the possibility of warm, rainy weather instead.
It is far too early for details on the strength and track of this system and all options remain on the table. Stay tuned.
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This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
Thankful for Your Support!
Finger Lakes Weather would not be possible without its main source of funding — generous monthly donors! I am so grateful for the many who contribute $5, $10, or sometimes more every month to make what I do possible.
If you are thankful for Finger Lakes Weather, please consider signing up for a small monthly donation using the form below, or place an ad for your business on Finger Lakes Weather. Thank you for your continued support of Local Weather!