A few chilly days before mid-December warm-up

finger lakes weather forecast lake effect snow sun and clouds chilly
A few lake flakes will fly today, followed by widespread but light snow on Wednesday. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Cool and Wintry

The cool, sometimes wintry pattern that has mostly held strong over the last couple of weeks will remain in place for a couple more days.

Today, we are between weather systems, so attention will turn to lake effect. With west-northwest winds this morning, a strong band of snow is coming off Lake Ontario but is mostly north of the Finger Lakes region.

Weaker snows are also coming off Lake Erie as a spray of flurries over the western Southern Tier.

The wind will shift to the west-southwest over the course of this morning, moving the Ontario band further from our area while pivoting the Lake Erie flurries further north. Accumulations will be limited to a coating over a few isolated areas, mostly west of I-390.

Outside of these areas of lake effect, some sunshine will poke out, even as a new batch of clouds high in the atmosphere streams in from the west.

Chilly temperatures will hold fast with highs in the upper 20s and low 30s this afternoon. Temperatures will settle into the mid and upper 20s overnight as clouds thicken, a few lake flakes continue, and some light widespread snow moves in toward dawn.

This snow will be on and off throughout Wednesday. It should never become very heavy and travel impacts will be minimal. Total accumulations through Wednesday should average out between a half inch and one and a half inches (0.5-1.5 inches).

Highs will again be in the upper 20s and low 30s, though more places should be above 30 degrees than today.

Thursday will have a few morning flurries from lake effect behind the weather system, but they should dissipate in the morning, leaving clouds and a few breaks of sun. Highs will inch upward with most areas in the low 30s.

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

Warm Pattern

Our weather pattern will begin a significant change on Friday.

South winds will take over once again and increase during the day Friday. Top gusts should stay under 30 mph, but the wind will warm the area, despite limited breaks of sunshine.

Highs on Friday should make it well into the 40s, with most areas in the mid 40s. No rain is expected.

Saturday will be increasingly windy and warm. Temperatures will race upward, and many areas could reach or exceed 60 degrees. Wind gusts of 35-45 mph will return, with the highest gusts over the Bristol Hills and the higher elevations between Syracuse and Cortland.

It will be showery on Saturday with on and off rain, similar to yesterday. A late afternoon or early evening cold front will crash temperatures into the 40s within a half-hour of the frontal passage, with a slower drop into the 30s overnight.

A limited response from the Great Lakes is expected behind the front, with a few flurries lingering into Sunday morning. Some afternoon sun will help temperatures to still make it to about 40 degrees.

High pressure will build in across the Mid-Atlantic early next week, bringing quiet and mild weather to our area.

Monday and Tuesday both look sunny with highs back into the mid 40s. Some clouds may build in on Wednesday but with no precipitation and temperatures holding in the mid 40s.

Rain chances will creep upward late next week, but so will temperatures with 50s possible by Thursday. More 40s are likely through next weekend, though the confidence in the forecast drops off rather quickly by then.

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast tuesday december 7 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.