Slick roads late Monday as freezing rain moves into the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast monday december 27 2021 winty mix freezing rain icy
Higher elevations will see the most ice this afternoon and evening, but even lower elevations across the southern half of the FLX could see a glaze of ice. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Weak Yet Icy System

A weak weather system will move into the Finger Lakes today with an icy mix of light precipitation.

Radar early this morning shows an area of precipitation moving into western New York and western Pennsylvania. This area should move into the western Finger Lakes by the mid-morning hours and will spread across the remainder of the area during the late morning and midday hours.

At first, the precipitation will not reach the ground, thanks to a substantial layer of dry air near the surface. As the precipitation falls into the dry air, it will evaporate. This process takes heat out of the air, resulting in a cooling effect on the temperature.

Most of the steady precipitation will move northeast of the area before it reaches the ground. However, showers and drizzle will set up behind the steadier precipitation and persist through the afternoon and evening.

Precipitation type will vary across the area, partially dependent on elevation. First, the clouds will likely lack ice crystals. No ice crystals means no snowflakes, so the precipitation will be liquid when it falls from the clouds.

There may be enough cold air between the clouds and the surface for some ice pellets, especially during the daylight hours this afternoon. On the flip side, some valley locations, and especially along the I-90 Corridor, will have surface temperatures above freezing, leading to plain rain.

The primary concern will be freezing drizzle and freezing rain. Thankfully, the precipitation will be on and off and generally light. Still, a glaze of ice is possible across even some lower elevations in the southern half of the region, with upwards of one to two-tenths of an inch of icing over higher elevations.

This will make for slippery untreated surfaces. Main roads will remain in decent shape as long as they remain well treated, but the lesser treated secondary and rural roads will be slick this afternoon and evening.

Temperatures will slowly warm above freezing late this afternoon and evening, starting in the valleys and finally reaching the hilltops as precipitation tapers off late this evening and early in the overnight.

Winds will be light, so the ice load on trees and wires should not be heavy enough to cause any downed branches or power outages.

finger lakes weahter 7-day forecast monday december 27 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Staying Unsettled

Tuesday morning will start with clouds and a few breaks of sun. Most areas will be in the mid 30s, though a few locations in the Southern Tier will fall back to around or just below freezing.

Clouds will thicken by the midday hours, but no precipitation is expected through sunset.

High temperatures will reach the upper 30s and low 40s, with the warmest air expected between Elmira and Binghamton. After sunset, temperatures will fall back to the 30-35 degree range.

Snow will move in from the south during the early evening and may come down hard for a couple hours. A quick 1-3 inches of accumulation will be possible, especially south of the Thruway. The heavier snow may not make it further north than the Thruway.

A nose of warmer air will push in from the south, leading to more mixed precipitation around and after midnight. Again, this will mainly be for areas south of the Thruway. Valley locations will turn from snow to rain with only a brief period of icy mix, while higher elevations will again see freezing rain and light ice accumulation.

By dawn Wednesday, only a few hilltops in Central New York should still be seeing ice while the rest of the area sees plain rain showers with temperatures into the mid 30s. Precipitation will come to an end shortly after sunrise.

The rest of Wednesday will be cloudy with temperatures pushing into the mid 40s.

Rain showers will be possible Wednesday night and throughout Thursday. An additional quarter-inch of rain could fall in some areas.

Temperatures will remain plenty warm enough for rain, with upper 30s Wednesday night and low 40s Thursday.

Friday will be quiet and dry with clouds and some breaks of sun. Highs will be into the mid 40s once again. Saturday will be even warmer with highs approaching 50 degrees. Some rain showers will be possible.

A strong cold front should move through on Sunday with rain changing to snow. Highs on Monday behind the front look to be in the 20s, but by next Wednesday, temperatures may push into the 40s once again.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

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finger lakes weahter 7-day forecast monday december 27 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.

  1. Pete Readel

    9 :30AM very light snow in Canandagua