Quiet weather to start the week

finger lakes weather forecast monday janaury 3 2021 sun clouds cold warming up
The end of the week is looking more active with a potential for meaningful winter weather. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Dry for a Time

A multi-day stretch of quiet weather will grace our region for the first half of the week.

There are a couple different areas of cloudiness around the region this morning. Some limited lake effect clouds, and perhaps a stray flurry, are spread across the northern areas. To the southeast, a deck of thin clouds on the very edge of a Mid-Atlantic winter storm is present.

The storm system over the Mid-Atlantic will push eastward, removing those thin clouds by the afternoon. A few lake clouds will linger, but they should become less widespread than they are this morning.

So, this afternoon, much of the area will see sunshine for a change. The sun will be deceptive though, with afternoon highs only in the upper teens and low 20s. Steady north and northwest winds will blow today at up to 10 mph with a few gusts reaching 25 mph.

Winds will turn to the southwest tonight, first above the surface this evening and then at the surface overnight. This will help keep temperatures in check, despite a large amount of clear skies. Mid and upper teens this evening will warm to upper teens and low 20s overnight.

There is a chance for pockets of colder air, especially this evening, which could lead to locally colder temperatures, perhaps as low as the single digits.

Tomorrow will start of sunny before some scattered clouds build in. The clouds will gradually increase throughout the day. It should not become completely overcast, though.

South winds tomorrow will match the north winds today with the opposite effect. Highs tomorrow will be in the upper 30s with a handful of low 40s in the typically warmer areas.

Clouds will increase further on Wednesday, but precipitation will continue to be absent. Morning lows will start around 30, and afternoon highs should work into the mid 40s for much of the region.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday january 3 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Some Real Winter Weather

What we get in quiet weather the first half of the week may be matched by wintry weather on the back half.

First, a weak low pressure will pass through Wednesday night with a few scattered snow showers. Lake effect will kick up behind this system for Thursday on cool southwest winds.

The wind direction will keep the Lake Ontario band well to the north, but Lake Erie may throw some snow across the northern and especially northwestern Finger Lakes.

Temperatures will retreat to reasonable levels with highs Thursday ranging from the upper 20s in the western Southern Tier, to pockets of mid 30s in the eastern half of the region.

Thursday night and Friday are the times to watch. The European model has consistently been showing a significant weather event for the northeastern United States. While the worst of this weather would take place to our east as a coastal low rapidly develops, a moderate to heavy snow is also possible here in the Finger Lakes.

While the primary European model has been very consistent with this scenario for days now, its ensembles have been less certain. However, these too have been trending snowier and the also reliable Canadian model has also joined in.

Completely absent from the snow game is the American GFS model. Frankly, I rarely look at that model and have a strong preference for the European. If one of these two models is going to completely botch a winter storm this far out, it is probably the GFS.

With this system still days away, there are, of course, plenty of uncertainties. However, the consistency showing on the Euro lends a lot of credibility to the idea of at least some shovelable snow and a messy Friday morning commute.

With the GFS model not showing this system, the mainstream media is less likely to jump on the hype band-wagon this early, making for an interesting and rare case where my forecasts this far out will probably be more significant than others. Still, later this week, do not be surprised to see fear-mongering headlines about bomb cyclones along the New England coast.

If this system pans out, Friday will also be a cold and blustery day, resulting in blowing snow even after the main snow pulls out. Those with travel plans anytime Friday should be closely monitoring the weather, especially if those plans involve heading east.

Temperatures will make another brief run next weekend, pushing into the upper half of the 30s by Sunday. A strong cold front will make short work of that, with another shot of cold early next week. This could be accompanied by some lake effect snow.

Be sure to continue to check back for updates throughout the week and to spread the word about the no-hype, scientific forecasting that Finger Lakes Weather provides!

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday january 3 2022
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.