After light snow today, focus turns to Saturday

figner lakes weather forecast wednesday march 9 2022 light snow
Snowfall today will be minor, but a high-impact event is becoming more likely for Saturday. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Minor Snow Today

Low pressure will track through the Mid-Atlantic region today, spreading light snow north into the Finger Lakes region.

At 7 AM, the leading edge to the snow was just across the state border in Pennsylvania, becoming more widespread as it lifts north.

The snow will move into the Finger Lakes during the mid-morning hours, falling lightly but steadily. Snowfall rates will increase this afternoon, especially across the Southern Tier and I-81 areas. Early this evening, the snow will come to a quick end.

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday march 8 2022 snow map
Light snow accumulations are expected today with the higher elevations of the Southern Tier seeing the greatest snow totals.

Temperatures will rise into the mid 30s this afternoon, meaning accumulations will become at least partially elevation-dependent and primarily on grassy and elevated surfaces. Main roads should remain in decent shape.

The lightest snow amounts, on the order of an inch or less, will take place through the northern tier of the Finger Lakes. The further south, the higher the amounts will get, with the best chance for three or four inches coming in the hills of the Southern Tier.

Winds will be light from the south and southeast during the snow. With the warm temperatures making for a wet snow, blowing and drifting will not be a concern.

Skies will clear this evening, but cold air will be lacking. Overnight lows will settle into the mid 20s.

Thursday and Friday will both see afternoon highs climbing into the mid 40s. Thursday will have sun and thin clouds, while Friday will be mostly cloudy. Both days are expected to be dry.

Higher Impact Winter Weather Saturday

Friday night, a cold front will slowly move into the region. Some rain showers will be possible Friday evening before these turn over to snow as temperatures fall.

By Saturday morning, there is a good chance for snow to be widespread throughout the region, possibly coming down heavily, as the front slows to a crawl. Snow will continue heavily throughout the day, gradually pivoting to the east.

As the snow starts to wind down Saturday afternoon, winds will pick up with several hours of strong gusts likely. Current projections have top wind gusts in the 35-45 mph range.

Temperatures will fall through Saturday, reaching the upper 10s and low 20s by the time the wind kicks up. Regardless of how much snow falls, significant blowing and drifting of the snow will result, keeping travel conditions poor into the evening.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday march 9 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

There are still questions on the position of the front and its movement that will impact the snow totals. However, there is a high likelihood that snow amounts over 6 inches will fall throughout the Finger Lakes.

The models have a high degree of agreement in this scenario unfolding, and with the front trending slower and further west, there does not seem to be a realistic alternative to a heavy snow event unfolding. It is just the details that need to be hammered out over the next couple of days.

However, this may end up being one of the last hurrahs of Winter. After a chilly Sunday with scattered snow showers, temperatures will take a quick turn for the warmer next week. Highs in the 40s are likely Monday and Tuesday, with 50s Wednesday and possibly another trip into the 60s late next week.

The warm pattern has a decent chance at sticking around into the week after that as well, which will take us into late March. This is not to say that we will be done with snow after Saturday…we all know that snow cannot be ruled out until Mid-May most years.

But the pattern certainly looks more spring-like than wintry after this weekend.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday march 9 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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Follow Meteorologist Drew Montreuil:
Meteorologist Drew Montreuil has been forecasting the weather in the Finger Lakes region since 2006 and has degrees in meteorology from SUNY Oswego (B.S. with Honors) and Cornell (M.S.). Drew and his wife have four young boys. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.