Arctic high brings another batch of frigid temperatures

finger lakes weather forecast thursday january 20 2022 cold front frigid air arctic blast
Ideal cooling conditions Friday night could lead to some areas reaching -20 degrees. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Cold Blast

A cold front moved through the Finger Lakes overnight, dropping temperatures into the teens after a mild start to the night.

Steady northwest winds will ensure that the temperature rises little today as the cold air continues to pour into the region. Temperatures will remain steady in the low and mid teens much of the day as the incoming cold air offsets the typical daytime warming cycle.

The cold air coming across Lake Ontario will at least produce some lake effect clouds today. Portions of the Southern Tier have the best chance of ending up sunny, while further to the north, a few flurries will also fly.

Wind speeds today will be around 10 mph with gusts of 20-25 mph.

Conditions for lake effect will improve slightly tonight, but it will still be tough going for the snow. The best chance for over two inches overnight will be in Wayne County, with mostly a coating to an inch of dry snow to the south.

The focal point for the snow will track westward through the night, allowing some eastern areas to clear out overnight. Likewise, the Southern Tier and areas west of I-390 will also be at least partially clear. Subzero temperatures are likely in these areas, but most places should not drop below -5.

Where the clouds and snow linger through the night, temperatures will be in the 0 to 5 degree range. Winds will be light, but still enough to produce advisory level wind chills of -15 to -20 in Onondaga, Cortland, and southern Cayuga counties.

Any lingering snow Friday morning will continue to drift westward as it shrinks back toward Lake Ontario and then dissipates. Some clouds may linger, but mostly, it will be sunny throughout the Finger Lakes.

Cold air will settle in with highs struggling into the low 10s. Conditions are ripe for a frigid night with clear skies, calm winds, snow cover, and a very dry atmosphere. Temperatures will drop like a rock after sunset.

A few lakeshore locations may stay near zero, but the rest of the region will be well below zero. Some of the coldest pockets could reach -20, and many places will be below -10.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday january 20 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Staying Chilly

Light south winds and plenty of sunshine will help temperatures recover on Saturday with highs making it into the low and even mid 20s. Some thin clouds in the atmosphere will move in during the afternoon.

After an initial dip into the teens Saturday evening, temperatures will hold steady or rise into Sunday morning. Highs Sunday will top out in the low 20s. Some lake effect snow showers off Lake Erie will move into the area on west winds.

Temperatures will drop back to around zero Sunday night with some limited lake effect near Lake Ontario. Monday will start with some sun outside of the lake effect, but new clouds will increase and some widespread light snow will move in.

Temperatures during the day Monday will be in the mid 20s but will rise to near 30 Monday night. Tuesday will then top out in the mid 30s before another arctic front moves through. Highs on Wednesday will once again struggle to get much beyond 10 degrees.

There may be a couple more very cold nights late next week, but there are uncertainties in how well everything lines up and whether conditions will be as ideal for cooling as Friday night.

However, starting next weekend, there are growing signs we will leave the bitter cold behind for a while with temperatures stabilizing closer to the climatological averages.

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday january 20 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.