Active pattern persists, brings higher impacts next week

finger lakes weather forecast friday december 3 2021 sun clouds flurries showers weekend
A powerful weather system early next week will bring strong winds to the area Sunday night and Monday. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Weekend Weather Forecast

An active jet stream will remain in place across the northern United States, bringing weather systems into our area every couple of days for the foreseeable future.

Today we are between systems with the cold front of yesterday off to our south and east, and the small system of tomorrow still over central Canada.

The weather is not completely quiet, though, with a spray of lake effect flurries off the southeast end of Lake Ontario. These are mostly very light and will only cause a dusting of accumulation in some areas. Most areas will not even see that.

Snow showers will diminish this morning, though a few stray flurries are likely to stick around through the afternoon. Outside of the snow showers, some breaks of sun will be possible, especially late in the day.

Northwest winds will be breezy this morning with gusts as high as 30 mph. The wind will weaken during the afternoon and eventually swing around to the southwest tonight. For a few hours this evening, skies will be mostly clear and winds mostly calm.

Temperatures will fall back into the upper 20s and low 30s after peaking in the low and mid 30s this afternoon. After the initial drop, temperatures will hold more or less steady overnight as cloud cover and wind speeds increase.

The aforementioned Canadian system will pass over far northern New York tomorrow, clipping the northern half of our region with some light, scattered precipitation. Much of what falls will do so as rain, but some snow may mix in over higher elevations if the precipitation makes it far enough south.

A cold front will turn winds to the west by the afternoon with speeds increasing. Top gusts will be near 30 mph for the eastern half of the region but could go over 35 mph for areas west of Keuka Lake. Temperatures will top out in the upper 30s and low 40s with cold air not arriving until the late afternoon or evening hours.

Some limited lake effect snow may develop Saturday night across the far northeastern snowbelts, namely in northern Wayne, northern Cayuga, and northern Onondaga counties. Little to no accumulations are expected.

Sunday will be quiet between systems. Thin clouds will be in place, but the sun should be able to shine through them somewhat. The clouds will thicken late in the day, and a few evening rain showers will be possible.

High temperatures on Sunday should generally be in the upper 30s. Temperatures will rise into the low 40s Sunday night.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday december 3 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Wind Monday, Snow Wednesday

The rising temperatures Sunday night will be driven by an increasing south wind as a strong low pressure skirts across the Upper Great Lakes and into Ontario, Canada. Widespread gusts over 40 mph are expected Sunday night with higher elevations possibly gusting to 50 mph.

Precipitation will mainly stay out of the area through Sunday night and the first part of Monday morning. Eventually, rain will move in from the west as south winds continue to gust to around 40 mph.

Temperatures should rise into the upper 40s and low 50s until a strong cold front comes through. This is a classic set up for a quick temperature drop accompanied by a band of heavy rain and strong winds.

By sunset Monday, winds will be from the southwest, but with cold air wrapping around the system and into our region. Temperatures will fall to the 30s before dusk, and into the mid 20s overnight.

The wind will weaken Monday night as it turns to the northwest, leading to some lake effect snow showers. These will linger into Tuesday, but winds may turn back to the southwest during the day, removing the snow from our area.

True to the every-other-day pattern, Wednesday will mark the arrival of the next system. Next Wednesday is still far in the future though, so the system will need to be watched closely over the coming days.

The models continue to give this system a higher chance for being a snow maker, but it is unlikely to produce significant snow. I think there is a better chance it turns into a rain or mixed event with minimal accumulation than it does a major snow event.

The pattern is likely to continue beyond Wednesday as well, with additional precipitation possible next Friday and next Sunday.

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday december 3 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.