Cold Pattern Persists
The dominant weather pattern over the last couple of weeks has been for brief shots of cold, followed by moderated yet still below average temperatures.
This pattern will continue for the rest of this week with two more dives in temperatures expected.
Currently, we are on the tail end of one of the moderated periods. Temperatures are mostly in the low and mid 20s this morning as an area of low pressure passes through.
Accompanying the low are a few areas of generally light snow. These will diminish this morning as the low exits. Northwest winds blowing at 5-10 mph will keep a few flurries off Lake Ontario present, though.
These winds will import some colder air, but the core of the cold will not arrive during the daytime hours today. The influx of cooler air that moves in today will balance out the daytime heating cycle. Temperatures will be steady in the low and mid 20s throughout the daytime hours.
This evening, a secondary cold front will drop south. A combination of frontal snow showers and some lake effect will increase the coverage of snow for the early evening. Still, the snow should not be overly heavy and most places will see an inch or less of accumulation.
Winds will become more northerly behind the front and cold air will intensify. Temperatures will range through the single digits tomorrow morning with some pockets of subzero temperatures across the Southern Tier and into Central New York, where clouds from lake effect will be fewer.
Lake effect snow should be limited to a few flurries near the shore of Lake Ontario, especially in and around Wayne County. Minor accumulations at most are expected.
Wednesday will be a mix of sun and lingering lake effect clouds. Winds will be light with speeds at or under 5 mph, coming from the north and northwest. Daytime high temperatures will be in the low and mid 10s.
Temperatures will quickly drop Wednesday evening with most areas between 0 and -10 degrees by midnight. However, a south wind will kick up and temperatures should rise several degrees after midnight. This should be enough to nudge roughly the northwestern half of the region above zero by Thursday morning, but the southeastern half will still be near or slightly below zero.
Cycle Repeats This Weekend
Temperatures on Thursday will continue to rise and should make it into the mid 20s. Skies will be a mix of sun and increasing thin clouds. Temperatures will stick around 20 degrees Thursday night.
Snow showers will move back in on Friday as the next cold front moves in. Highs will be in the mid 20s, but temperatures will begin to drop late. By Saturday morning, widespread single digits are likely with a few subzero pockets.
Saturday is a bit uncertain still as a strong low develops off the Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. Snow is unlikely to make it this far west, but it is something I am watching. Instead, the bigger question will be what sort of cloud cover we see on the fringe edge and whether lake effect kicks up on the north winds flowing into the low.
Also, the strength of the wind will be a question for Saturday as well and will depend on the path of the coastal low. With temperatures only expected to reach the low 10s, strong winds could result in hazardous daytime wind chills.
The wind and any clouds should help keep temperatures mostly above zero Saturday night, but wind chills could still be a factor. Again, some pockets of subzero temperatures will also be possible, especially in the western Southern Tier.
Sunday will be cool with a mix of sun and clouds. Highs will make it into the mid 10s. South winds will kick in once more, keeping temperatures above zero Sunday night and pushing highs Monday into the 20s.
Our cold pattern will then break down for at least a week. Most of next week will have highs into the 30s.
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This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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Gail Burger Dalmat
Next week sounds fine for yard work–or at least, possibly tolerable.