Warm front tonight sets up much warmer weather pattern

finger lakes weather forecast warm front cloudy snow windy weekend
A quick band of snow tonight should be the last snow most areas see at least through late next week. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Transitional Weather

Cold air will remain entrenched over the region today, but the winds of change will start to blow tonight as a warm front lifts through the area.

There are a few lingering lake effect snow showers ongoing this morning. These have been weakening and will only last a couple more hours. Accumulations from these snow showers will be under an inch.

Outside of the lake effect, some areas were able to have clear skies during the overnight, causing temperatures to drop into the teens. The rest of the region is starting out in the low and mid 20s.

For the most part, it will be a cloudy day. There will be some breaks of sunshine here or there, but clouds are also streaming in ahead of the warm front. These clouds are primarily thin, but will filter the sunshine in any of those breaks.

West and northwest winds will blow this morning at around 5 mph before going calm in the afternoon. With little to no sunshine and no warming winds, highs will struggle into the low 30s this afternoon.

Tonight, winds will turn to the south and warmer air will approach. A quick band of snow may move through between 10 PM and 2 AM. Behind this, some patchy freezing drizzle may develop before temperatures rise above freezing.

Most areas should be above freezing and into the mid 30s by sunrise Friday. Again, it will be a rather cloudy day with just a few glimpses of sunshine here or there.

However, south and southeast winds will blow steadily at 5-10 mph, pushing warmer air in. Afternoon highs will respond by topping out in the mid 40s. A few areas in and around Cortland County may be limited to the low 40s tomorrow, especially if winds are more southeasterly.

finger lakes weahter 7-day forecast thursday december 9 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Weekend Wind, Mild Next Week

Friday night will start out quietly, but winds will steadily pick up steam as the night goes on. By dawn Saturday, gusts over 30 mph will be common with hilltops gusting to 40 mph.

Some scattered rain showers will move in and continue into Saturday morning. There should be a lull in the shower activity during the middle of Saturday before rain increases again for the afternoon.

A rumble of thunder here or there is not totally out of the question, either.

South winds will continue to gust at 30-40 mph, driving temperatures into the upper 50s and low 60s.

A cold front will move through during the latter half of the afternoon and into the early evening. Temperatures will rapidly drop to the mid and low 40s and winds will turn to the west-southwest.

The strongest winds will come at this time with widespread gusts of 40-45 mph. As usual with strong southwest winds, even stronger gusts are expected in the west. Gusts over 50 mph are possible in parts of Wayne, Ontario, Yates, and Steuben Counties. The area from Buffalo to Rochester could see gusts to 60 mph.

Wind speeds will drop rapidly after midnight with gusts of 20-25 mph by dawn Sunday. Temperatures will have fallen to the upper 20s in the western Southern Tier to the mid 30s in the I-90 corridor. A little lake effect may be ongoing early Sunday, but with little impact.

High pressure will build in and much of Sunday should be sunny. West winds may gust as high as 30 mph during the afternoon as the high pressure butts up against the departing low.

Sunday will be the coolest day of this new, warmer pattern with highs in the upper 30s and low 40s.

High pressure will dominate next week with plenty of sunshine Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. No precipitation is expected during this time with daily highs averaging out in the mid to upper 40s.

By Thursday, a small front may pass through with some rain showers. Another high will build in behind this front but will be in a position to our west that is more favorable for cooler air. Temperatures should make a gradual return to the 30s by next weekend.

Beyond that, the weather may become more active, which lends itself to high uncertainty this far in advance.

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finger lakes weahter 7-day forecast thursday december 9 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.