Weather begins a wintry turn tonight

finger lakes weather forecast thursday janaury 6 2022 snow lake effect windy cold ice
Widespread light snow tonight will be followed by lake effect Friday and Monday, freezing rain Sunday, and the coldest air yet this season by Tuesday. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Thursday-Friday Weather

After a mostly quiet daytime today, changes in our weather pattern will bring several shots of wintry weather over the coming days.

The primary story in Upstate New York today is heavy lake effect snow just outside of the Finger Lakes region. Off Lake Erie, an intense snow band is plastering Buffalo with heavy snow and is not expected to move much today. Travel on I-90 from Batavia through Buffalo and into the southern suburbs will be very difficult.

To the north, off Lake Ontario, a similar story will unfold along I-81 between northern Oswego County and into Watertown. Travel into either of these areas is not recommended at any point today.

Closer to home, there are a few flurries about the Finger Lakes this morning, but as the lake effect continues to organize, these will become harder to come by. Most of the day will be dry and some breaks of sunshine should work their way out. The best chance for sun will be across the southern half of the region during the mid-morning to early afternoon.

It will not be as warm as yesterday with temperatures close to the daily averages. Look for low 30s in most areas with upper 20s in the hills.

Clouds will increase this afternoon as low pressure tracks from the Southeast into the Mid-Atlantic. This will spread some light snow into the area during the later evening hours and through the overnight. Accumulations from this system will be limited to around an inch, or perhaps two in the far southeastern Finger Lakes.

Northwest winds will pick up Friday morning as the low strengthens over the Atlantic Ocean. Wind speeds will increase to 10-15 mph with gusts of 30-35 mph.

Flurries and some squalls off Lake Ontario will drop south through the region. The strong winds may prevent a more organized lake response. Still, low visibility and quickly changing road conditions will be possible in any squalls. Locally several inches of snow will be possible in Wayne, Cayuga, Onondaga, and northern Cortland counties.

Blowing snow will also be a localized hazard in open areas thanks to the gusty winds.

Temperatures tomorrow will start in the low and mid 20s. From there, temperatures will either hold steady or lose a couple degrees during the afternoon hours.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday january 6 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Ice, Snow, Cold

The weather will calm down for Saturday as a strong high pressure system moves overhead. This should end the lake effect Friday night and bring in some sunshine for at least the start of Saturday.

Temperatures will start well into the teens with pockets of single-digits Saturday morning. Winds will turn to the south and increase for the afternoon, pushing afternoon highs into the upper 20s to near 30 degrees.

The next weather system will be quick to move in behind the high with precipitation breaking up during the predawn hours Sunday. Much of the region will see freezing rain at the onset. The freezing rain will turn to rain from northwest to southeast through Sunday morning and the early afternoon.

Ice amounts around a tenth of an inch are certainly possible, especially across the southeastern half of the area. Locally higher amounts are not out of the question. Travel will be slick, especially early in the morning.

South winds will also be blustery, especially over higher elevations, where gusts to 35 mph will be possible. With the extra weight of the ice, some localized power outages cannot be ruled out.

By the later afternoon, all the precipitation should be rain. Temperatures will creep into the low 40s from roughly Penn Yan northward and westward. Upper and mid 30s are likely for highs further south and east.

A strong cold front will move through Sunday evening, setting up blustery northwest winds once again. Heavy lake effect will be possible southeast of Lake Ontario, especially in northern Cayuga county and into the Syracuse area. This will persist for much of Monday.

High temperatures on Monday will be in the 15-20 degree range. Snow will spread south across the Finger Lakes Monday evening and will only gradually wind down on Tuesday.

Temperatures Tuesday morning will approach 0 degrees, and highs may not even make it out of the single digits. It will also remain blustery, with northwest winds gusting as high as 25 mph.

There may be some additional light snow later next week as temperatures moderate back toward the 30s.

Looking longer range, temperatures are expected to remain close to the seasonal averages through mid-January.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday january 6 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.