Brief Shot of Cold
Another cold front has moved through the Finger Lakes, setting our region up for another 24-hour cold spell.
Temperatures are starting around zero this morning, with a range from about -5 to +5 for most areas. Some stray clouds are in place, especially over the western half of the region, but there are also ample breaks in the cloud cover.
The overall trend will be for an increase in sunshine throughout the day today. Clouds are most likely to stubbornly hold on in the western, and especially northwestern portions of the region. A stray flurry cannot be ruled out, but most areas will stay dry throughout the day.
Light north winds behind the cold front will hold temperatures in check. It will not be as cold as some other recent cold days, but the highs today will mostly be in the mid teens. That is about where our climatological average daily low temperature is for this time of year.
Any lingering clouds should quickly vanish after sunset and temperatures will quickly fall beneath the clear skies and nearly calm winds. By Midnight, most of the region will be near or below zero. Typically colder pockets in the Southern Tier and Central New York could hit -10 degrees.
But then, the cold air will start to retreat as some thin clouds and southerly winds build into the region. Temperatures should come up overnight, with subzero readings early Thursday morning limited to those same cold pockets in the Southern Tier and Central New York. Most areas should be near or above zero, though by only a couple degrees.
The warming trend will continue into the daytime hours. Sunshine will mix with thin clouds, though during the afternoon, those clouds will become thicker. South winds will also persist, though with only modest wind speeds.
The result will be afternoon highs in the mid 20s. Nighttime temperatures will only drop a couple of degrees as clouds increase further and warming winds, now from the southwest, continue.
The warm up will be as brief as the cold air today. The increase in clouds Thursday night will be ahead of another cold front.
This front will bring snow showers in for the second half of Thursday night and into early Friday morning. A few squally snow bursts will be possible, but overall accumulations should be near or under an inch.
Winds will turn from the southwest to the north Friday morning but speeds will remain modest. Temperatures will make it to the mid 20s just ahead of the front during the morning, but will retreat to the upper 10s and low 20s Friday afternoon.
Additional lake effect snow showers are likely, though incoming high pressure will reduce the lake effect as the day goes on.
Meanwhile, a coastal low will begin developing on Friday off the southeast coast of the United States. Thin clouds on the fringe edge of this rapidly developing system will move into the eastern half of the area Friday night. Further west, lake effect clouds are likely.
These clouds should keep most areas above zero Friday night. The best chance for slipping below zero will be in Onondaga and Cayuga Counties, where the coastal low clouds will be thinnest and latest arriving.
The coastal storm will pound the major metros of the East Coast with heavy snow on Saturday, but should not bring a single flake into the Finger Lakes. Instead, a few lake flurries will be possible, mostly over far western areas with north-northeast winds over Lake Ontario.
During the afternoon, winds will turn to the north-northwest and increase with speeds near 15 mph and gusts to 35 mph. This will especially be the case over the heart of the Finger Lakes, between Canandaigua Lake and Otisco Lake.
With daytime highs struggling to get beyond 10 degrees, these blustery winds will push wind chills to -10 or even -15 degrees during the daytime hours.
Clouds and gusty winds will depart Saturday night. Morning lows Sunday will mostly be near or above 0 degrees, but once again with colder pockets dropping below zero. South winds will kick in later Sunday to go with some sunshine. Highs in the low 20s will result.
A significant warming trend is likely next week with plenty of dry weather. Highs will be in the upper 20s Monday, upper 30s Tuesday, and into the 40s Wednesday and Thursday.
A wet, windy, and warm system will move in late next week with highs in the 50s before a drop off for next weekend and the following week.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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