Mild end to 2021 before cold front Sunday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday december 29 2021 cloudy mild
Daily high temperatures in the 40s and above freezing nighttime temperatures are highly likely through Saturday. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Mostly Quiet but Drab

The final days of 2021 will be characterized by above average temperatures and a lack of sunshine.

Some pockets of drizzle and freezing drizzle exist early this morning in the wake of the quick-hitting snow last night. This will especially be possible over the higher elevations of the eastern half of the region.

The atmosphere should dry out over the course of the morning, but clouds will remain locked in place. Few, if any, glimpses of sunshine are expected today.

Light winds under 5 mph will shift from the southeast this morning to the southwest this afternoon. Much of the region will get into the mid 40s with higher elevations in the low 40s and a few upper 30s.

Tonight, drizzle and fog may return, especially in higher elevations. Temperatures will settle in the mid 30s, so the chance for freezing drizzle will be limited to hyper-local cold pockets.

Thursday will continue the cloudy trend, though there is a slightly higher chance for a few brief peeks of sunshine in the morning. During the afternoon, a few scattered rain showers will appear. These will become more numerous across the southeastern half of the area during the early evening. No heavy rain is expected.

High temperatures on Thursday will again be in the mid 40s with some colder higher elevations, especially throughout the Southern Tier. Nighttime low temperatures will stick to the mid 30s.

Friday will be similar with plenty of clouds and scattered afternoon and evening rain showers. South winds will increase in speed to just over 5 mph, helping nudge temperatures into the upper 40s for lower elevations with mid 40s in the hills.

Temperatures on New Year’s Eve may initially drop to the upper 30s across the northern half of the region, but mid 40s will spread back northward through the evening. By midnight, most areas south of I-90 will be into the 40s, and by dawn Saturday, mid 40s will be widespread.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday december 29 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Weekend Cold Front

Rain will move in from the southwest by dawn Saturday as low pressure tracks across the region.

The rain is likely to be steady throughout the morning before becoming more showery for the afternoon. By the evening, a stripe of one-half to one-inch rain will have fallen.

There is a chance that these rain amounts will be found mostly across the southeastern half, with a quarter to half-inch to the northwest. There is still some uncertainty on where the heaviest rain falls, though.

Temperatures are a bit uncertain as well and may depend on how the rain evolves. Temperatures should at least be in the mid 40s during the afternoon but may approach 50. Overnight temperatures, too, will reside in the 45-50 degree range at a minimum.

The cold front associated with this system will march through the area early Sunday morning. Temperatures will drop as stiff northwest winds set up with gusts of 35-40 mph.

Lingering rain showers will turn to snow as temperatures tumble into the 20s by the afternoon. By sunset, low and mid 20s are expected.

Lake effect snow will organize Sunday evening southeast of the Great Lakes and continue into Monday. A gradual northward shift in the snows will take place during the day. Early speculation at snow amounts shows some locally decent snow is possible.

Monday will be cold, with temperatures starting in the teens and topping out in the mid 20s. Warmer air will soon move back in, with 30s Tuesday and Wednesday and 40s possible by Thursday.

Overall, though, the pattern into the middle of January looks a little closer to average, though still hugging the warmer side of average.

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday december 29 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.