A few Friday showers ahead of busy start to the New Year

finger lakes weather forecast friday december 31 2021 new years eve forecast rain cold front weekend
Temperatures Saturday will be near 50, but much of Sunday will be spent in the 20s. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Weekend Weather

Low-impact weather is expected for New Year’s Eve today and tonight, but the weather will increase in activity for the start of 2022.

Plenty of clouds and areas of fog are greeting the Finger Lakes once again this morning. Unlike the last two days, where calm winds aided in the fog and drizzle, a light south wind will develop today. Wind speeds will only be 5-10 mph, but that will be enough to keep the atmosphere mixed up enough to reduce the thick fog.

There may even be a small chance for a brief glimpse of sunshine this afternoon.

A few scattered rain showers will also be possible at times, particularly through the late morning hours. The chances for rain this afternoon and evening are lower, but not zero. Anything that falls today should remain light and relatively brief.

Temperatures today will mostly be in the mid and upper 40s. If a little sun does poke out, a few places could hit 50 degrees. Evening temperatures will fall to the mid and upper 30s and should be there as we ring in the new year at midnight.

The first hours of 2022 will bring warmer air into the region, and by dawn Saturday, most areas should be back into the mid 40s.

Rain showers will continue to be possible, yet quite scattered, into Saturday morning. Low pressure will pass to our southeast later Saturday, spreading rain north into the area. Steady late afternoon and evening rain is likely, though there are still some uncertainties about how much will fall.

As the low gains strength to our east, colder air will start to seep in earlier than originally expected. It will be a more gradual fall, though, with mid and upper 30s the first half of Saturday night and low and mid 30s by Sunday morning.

Rain will turn to snow, though it may take some time to complete the transition Sunday morning. A little bit of sleet or freezing rain may accompany the transition but should be brief. Snow showers are likely throughout Sunday as temperatures continue to fall into the 20s.

The possibility for some light accumulations has been introduced to the northwestern Finger Lakes, mainly in the Geneseo and Rochester areas. There is a small chance for a moderate snowfall in these areas, but I think an inch or two is a more reasonable estimate at this time.

Northwest winds will blow through Sunday and into Monday with top gusts of 25-30 mph.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday december 31 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Next Week’s Weather

As the snow associated with the cold front pulls out late Sunday, lake effect snow showers will develop southeast of Lake Ontario.

The wind direction will still be from the northwest, but may be a bit north of true northwest. This will reduce the amount of time the air spends over Lake Ontario and remove any influence from the Upper Great Lakes.

As a result, the snow should not be too intense Sunday night or early Monday with mostly light amounts through the Finger Lakes.

The wind direction does look favorable for some enhancement off the Finger Lakes, especially Cayuga Lake. Ithaca and the immediate areas south-southeast could see locally more snow than other nearby areas. This would impact the Monday morning commute, so be ready for the possibility of a delayed, messy commute.

Temperatures Monday morning will be plenty cold, with upper teens in the lake effect areas and low and mid teens elsewhere.

The lake effect should move north and dissipate Monday afternoon as winds over the lakes begin to shift. Skies may become mostly sunny by the late afternoon. High temperatures will only be in the low and mid 20s.

The cold air will not last as winds become southerly Monday night. Temperatures will drop to the upper teens and low 20s Monday evening and remain steady overnight. Morning sunshine and the south winds will warm temperatures quickly Tuesday and highs should reach the upper 30s to near 40 degrees.

Clouds will increase Tuesday afternoon and into Wednesday. Highs Wednesday should be well into the 40s, but rain and snow will move in late in the day as another strong cold front moves into the area.

That front will knock temperatures back into the 20s for Thursday. Low pressure may develop along the front and pass to our south, bringing the possibility for some more snow later Thursday into Friday. There is a high hype potential for this system, so be wary of premature forecasts and overblown wording.

I hope you were able to make the best of another tough year in 2021. May 2022 bring us all more joy and peace, and less stress and fear.

If you have any ideas on improvements you would like to see with Finger Lakes Weather in 2022, please drop me a comment or an email! Thank you for supporting Finger Lakes Weather during the past year!

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday december 31 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.