Up Then Down
A southerly flow has set up over the Finger Lakes between high pressure to the east and an approaching cold front from the west.
Most areas saw temperatures rise several degrees even before sunrise. Warming will accelerate as the sun climbs higher in the sky with few clouds in the area through the morning.
The clouds will gradually increase this afternoon and skies should end with a fair bit of overcast. Much of the region will warm into the mid 20s.
Temperatures will hold steady this evening and for much of the overnight. Clouds will continue to thicken, but no precipitation is expected until after midnight.
That is when snow showers and a few brief squalls will move in ahead of the cold front. Much of the snow will fall before and around sunrise with generally an inch or less of accumulation expected.
The snow showers will wane Friday morning with just a few stray flurries expected by the midday hours. Winds will turn to the northwest, then north, and colder air will filter back into the region.
Friday’s temperatures will start with a dip of a couple degrees to the low 20s. From there, temperatures will trickle downward, ending up in the mid and upper 10s by sunset.
Clouds from both some limited lake effect and on the fringe edge of a strong coastal low will be present Friday night. North winds will continue to blow at around 5 mph. It will be cold, but these factors will prevent a frigid night. Most areas should be within a couple degrees of zero, or solidly above zero, by Saturday morning.
Winds will increase as the coastal low strengthens on Saturday. North-northwest gusts of 25-35 mph will be possible, helping entrench cold air overhead. Afternoon highs will be in the low 10s with subzero wind chills throughout the day.
Snow on Saturday will be limited to a few early snow showers off Lake Ontario, mostly falling west of Seneca Lake thanks to early northeast winds over Lake Ontario.
Saturday night will be colder with fewer clouds, but persistent winds will keep the atmosphere mixed and therefore prevent it from being too frigid once again. More areas will slip below zero, but temperatures colder than -5 should be limited to a few isolated cold pockets.
On Sunday, winds will turn to the south and a new weather pattern will begin to take hold. This pattern will bring both quiet and warmer weather in for several days.
It will take a little time to replace the cold, though. After the chilly start Sunday, temperatures during the afternoon will manage to get back to around 20 degrees. Skies will be a mix of sun and clouds, but no snow is expected.
Temperatures will drop into the single digits Sunday night with a few cold pockets probably ending up below zero. Sun and clouds during the daytime hours Monday will help temperatures be near 30 degrees. That is very close to the average high for late January.
Monday night’s temperatures will also be spot on the daily averages with most areas in the mid 10s. From there, above average temperatures will take over.
Tuesday should be in the upper 30s and low 40s with dry, partly cloudy weather continuing. Temperatures Tuesday night will stick to the low 30s.
By Wednesday, a little precipitation will start to be possible. While a few snowflakes cannot be ruled out at this early stage, most of the showery activity looks as though it will be rain. Temperatures Wednesday should peak in the mid 40s.
A strong weather system is expected to move into the Great Lakes late next week. Southerly winds will intensify ahead of this system, which could propel temperatures into the 50s Thursday night or Friday.
Rain chances will increase, both as the warmer air first pushes in, and as a cold front approaches. This front is likely to have a sharp temperature drop that causes precipitation to end as snow later Friday.
Behind this system, temperatures look to stabilize near the seasonal averages.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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