Tuesday Evening Observations
I continue to analyze the latest information on the upcoming winter weather event in the Finger Lakes. Here are my latest observations as of Tuesday evening.
Full forecast, including maps and charts, now available: https://flxweather.com/2022/02/02/thursday-friday-snow-and-ice-comprehensive-details
The models have been steadily trending further southeast with the stalling of the front. This has continued on the morning model runs, likely driven by the strength of the sprawling Canadian high pressure system that is helping to spawn this front.
This is leading to an increase in forecast confidence and a simplification of the forecast for most of the Finger Lakes. That said, there are still some uncertainties, and weather models can sometimes “overshoot” their corrections, so the trends from model run to model run will still need to be monitored.
Here are a few observations I would like to stress tonight before making what will be my final, comprehensive forecast post Wednesday morning.
Precipitation will be coming at us in two phases. Rain showers will mix with and turn to snow showers Wednesday night. Steady snow will be falling for much of the area by dawn Thursday morning, though some rain could still be lingering in the eastern Southern Tier.
Most of the precipitation Wednesday night and early Thursday will be on the lighter side, with snow accumulations limited to an inch or so by the morning commute. Ice looks less favorable during this timeframe.
Precipitation will remain light through the early afternoon. Some areas may even see the precipitation end for a time. Most areas will see snow, but southern Steuben, Chemung, and Tioga counties could see ice mix in, either as sleet or freezing rain.
During the latter half of the afternoon, precipitation will increase in intensity. Some sleet cannot be ruled out as far north as Bath and Ithaca, but most of the icy mix will be relegated to the aforementioned areas, or even further south and east if the models continue their trends.
Heavy snow is likely Thursday evening and into the overnight. As the models continue to push the front further southeast, the northern reaches of the Finger Lakes may start to see snow totals decrease. On the flip side, the cooler air will lead to fluffier snow, so the decrease in precipitation may still put out similar snow amounts.
Most of the Finger Lakes region is looking at an 8-12” snowfall Thursday afternoon through Friday morning. The worst travel conditions will be later Thursday afternoon through early Friday morning, though winter weather conditions should be expected to some extent anytime after midnight Wednesday night into early Friday afternoon.
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