Evening cold front brings a few squalls after mild day

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday january 5 2022 mild cold front snow squalls
Brief periods of tricky travel conditions will be possible tonight. Active winter weather is likely through the weekend and into next week. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Wednesday-Thursday Weather

An area of low pressure tracking through the Upper Great Lakes will help push temperatures up today but will then reverse course as it sends a cold front through the area tonight.

South winds, which have been blustery at times overnight, have held temperatures in place throughout the night. Low 30s in the north and mid and upper 20s in the south will quickly start to warm up this morning once the sun is up.

Sunshine will be limited this morning with plenty of cloud cover in place. The cloud should partially erode this afternoon, allowing at least some sunshine from time to time.

The lack of consistent sunshine will hold temperatures mostly before 45 degrees, though many places will get close. Low 40s are more likely across the Southern Tier and into the higher terrain of Central New York.

The cold front will approach early this evening. Several narrow bands of moderate to heavy snow will develop. Not all areas will see these bands, and they will be very brief for the areas that do. Still, a quick coating on the roadways and reduced nighttime visibility will make for some tricky travel at times this evening.

The front-induced snow will move out by midnight, but lake effect off Lake Erie may continue to bring snow showers to the Thruway area through the night. Accumulations should be minimal. Temperatures in these areas will stick to the mid 20s, but across the Southern Tier, where skies may partially clear, mid and upper teens are possible.

The lake effect will retreat to the Buffalo-Rochester corridor for the daytime hours Thursday. The snow should not be too heavy in Rochester, but Buffalo will be very snowy.

The Finger Lakes will have a mix of sun and clouds early, followed by thickening clouds the rest of the day. No precipitation is expected until the evening hours, though.

High temperatures on Thursday will be cooler than today, but not nearly as cold as Monday. Low 30s will be most common, with a few lakeshores and urban areas reaching the mid 30s while higher elevations stick to the upper 20s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday january 5 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Active Weekend, then Cold

Light snow will overspread the area Thursday night as low pressure passes to the south. It is increasingly looking like this will be a minor event for our region, and while I would not be surprised if the models jog a bit further north, I find the forecast unlikely to change significantly at this point.

Most of the region should see a coating to an inch or two by Friday morning. The highest amounts may even up being where the Great Lakes can enhance the snow.

Widespread snow will taper off to lake effect on Friday. Winds will be from the northwest, so the far western Southern Tier and northern and eastern Finger Lakes will have the best shot for additional snow.

Winds throughout Friday are still expected to be breezy with gusts of 30-35 mph. Some blowing snow will be possible in the open rural areas but it should be minor with limited snow cover. Highs on Friday will be in the low and mid 20s.

Lake snows will dissipate Friday evening as a strong high pressure system builds in. Temperatures will fall well into the teens by Saturday morning, but will bounce back for a high around 30 degrees Saturday afternoon.

No precipitation is expected on Saturday with a mix of sun and clouds.

Another messy system will move in for Sunday. Areas of freezing rain seem likely in the morning, especially across the eastern two-thirds of the region. Gradually, the freezing rain will turn to plain rain from west to east.

The potential for some moderate ice accumulations will need to be watched. It will also be breezy, especially over higher elevations. The extra weight from the ice combined with 30-35 mph southerly wind gusts could lead to some sporadic power outages.

Temperatures in the afternoon will range from the low and mid 40s in the west to the mid and upper 30s in the east. A cold front will then move through during the early evening with blustery northwest winds lasting through Sunday night and much of Monday.

Cold air will rush back in with morning lows Monday in the mid teens. Afternoon highs will struggle to get much above 20 degrees. Lake effect snow will be possible, though the heaviest may stay just north of the area.

Lake snows will continue to wobble in and out of the area Monday night and Tuesday as the core of the cold air moves in. Morning lows Tuesday will mostly be in the single digits with afternoon highs in just the mid teens.

The cold air, snow, and continued blustery winds will make travel less than ideal. Some additional light snow will continue to be possible later in the week as temperatures slowly moderate.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday january 5 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.