Cold and Lake Effect
After an icy mess yesterday across much of the eastern and southern Finger Lakes, a cold front moved through the region last night.
Cold air will continue to pour into the region today on blustery west and northwest winds. Wind speeds will be 10-15 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Intense lake effect snow is ongoing east of Lake Ontario across Oswego County and the Tug Hill. Lighter snow showers are coming off Lake Erie. The snow bands will stay in these positions much of the day, keeping the Ontario snows to our north and resulting in a spray of snow showers for the southern half of the Finger Lakes off Erie.
Daytime snow accumulations should be minimal and travel conditions should not be impacted. Traveling north on I-81 is strongly discouraged.
Temperatures will only add a few degrees today with highs ranging from the mid teens in higher elevations to around 20 degrees most other places.
Another cold front will drop south through the area this evening. This front will pick up the Lake Ontario band and take it south. A burst of heavy snow is likely between 7-9 PM for areas near and north of Route 20 in the northern Finger Lakes. Travel conditions will rapidly deteriorate and become hazardous.
From there, the band will break up as it continues south through the remainder of the Finger Lakes. Impacts will gradually wane as it moves south.
Additional snow showers will develop behind this front, gradually focusing into a spray of lighter snow showers in the favored northwest-wind snowbelts of Wayne, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Cortland counties. By Tuesday morning, these areas should see 2-4 inches of accumulation.
Northwest winds will continue to gust over 25 mph much of the night. This will be coupled with temperatures dropping into the -5 to +5 degree range. This will result in the Wind Chill calculation dropping well below zero and possibly as low as -20. Wind Chill Advisories are in effect Cayuga, Tompkins, Tioga, Cortland, and Onondaga counties as a result.
Lake effect snows will linger through Tuesday morning and will gradually wind down Tuesday afternoon. Another inch or two may fall during the daytime hours in the same favored snowbelts.
Quiet with Cold Lurking
A south wind will kick up later Tuesday and through Tuesday night. This will end the lake effect and cause temperatures to rise Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning, western areas should be well into the 20s while some teens hold fast in the eastern Southern Tier and Central New York.
Thin clouds will be overhead on Wednesday, so it will not be a fully sunny day. Some sunshine will filter through the clouds, though. No precipitation is expected.
High temperatures on Wednesday will make it into the mid and upper 30s with a few areas possibly hitting 40 degrees. Thursday will be just a touch cooler, with highs mostly in the mid 30s.
A late cold front will bring a few snow showers Thursday evening, but these should be insignificant. Light flurries will linger into Friday, again with little to no impact.
The cold will flood back in, with temperatures Friday mostly holding steady in the mid teens. Friday night will again see areas of sub-zero temperatures while highs on Saturday struggle into the low teens.
Sunday is highly uncertain. Most likely it will be a quiet, even sunny day, but there is also an outside chance for snow.
Temperatures are likely to remain on the colder side through next week and into late January. The chances of dropping below zero will be higher than seeing 40 degrees (outside of a few pockets on Wednesday) during the next couple of weeks.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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