A cold front is working through the Finger Lakes early this morning, dropping temperatures from the 40s and 50s down into the 30s.
There is little precipitation with the front, but a stray shower or flurry cannot be ruled out.
Temperatures will settle in the mid and upper 30s as the cold air establishes itself. Winds will gust 30-40 mph at times, starting from the west and then turning to the northwest.
Once winds are out of the northwest, a few lake effect flurries will move in off Lake Ontario. Most of the snow will fall over the roughly northern half of the region, with the best chance for localized amounts to an inch north of the Thruway.
Lake flurries will dissipate this evening though lake clouds will persist into early Thursday. Overnight lows will fall into the mid 10s.
Thursday will be the proverbial calm before the storm, with morning cloudiness giving way to some sunshine before new clouds build in Thursday night. Temperatures will rise into the upper 20s, then fall to around 20 degrees Thursday night.
Friday Snow and Ice
Low pressure will track northeast across Pennsylvania early Friday before redeveloping off the coast of New Jersey on Friday.
This set up will place several limiting factors on the snowfall in the Finger Lakes compared to eastern New York and New England, but a moderate and impactful winter weather event remains likely.
Snow will break out from southwest to northeast after midnight Thursday night. The snow will quickly become heavy. How much snow falls by Friday morning will be influenced by how quickly precipitation turns to sleet and freezing rain.
As usual, southern areas will see the changeover first, but could see much of the snow accumulation from this event before that changeover. Further north, most of the precipitation may fall as snow. Determining where these zones set up is the greatest challenge with this event, as it has been several other times this winter. There is still a high amount of uncertainty.
Another factor will be the duration of the precipitation due to the redevelopment of the low. There are indications that precipitation may taper off sooner rather than late Friday morning across the southern half of the region, while northern areas continue to see steadier snow.
By the afternoon, much of the snow should be pulling out, though lingering snow showers and lake enhancement will persist into Friday night.
Snowfall amounts may end up being variable once again. The best chance for snow amounts over 8 inches appears to be north of the Thruway and perhaps along I-81. The further south and west, the lower the chances for high snow amounts. Still, much of the area will probably end up with at least 4-8 inches of snow and sleet.
My hope is to have a snow map with my usual update Thursday morning. It is highly unlikely that I will have a map to publish tonight.
After the Snow
Behind the snow and ice Friday, the weather will settle into a quiet pattern.
A few lake effect flurries will linger into Saturday morning before dissipating. Some afternoon sun will be possible with highs in the upper 20s.
Sunday will be the opposite, with the best chance for sun coming in the morning, followed by a few flurries in the afternoon. These flurries will be along a weak cold front. Morning lows Sunday will be near 20 with highs briefly getting into the low 30s.
Monday will be sunny as high pressure builds in overhead. Morning lows will be chilly, reaching the single digits for many areas. A few cold pockets could slip below zero. Afternoon highs will rebound to the upper 20s.
Tuesday and Wednesday will be milder with some 40s possible. Another weak front will move through Wednesday night with a few flurries, pushing temperatures back towards the 20s and 30s for the end of next week.
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This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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