Temperatures warm today, then begin substantial slide

finger lakes weather forecast thursday march 24 2022 sun clouds warm temperatures cool weekend
After reaching the 60s today, temperatures will be 45-50 degrees colder by Monday morning. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Unsettled into the Weekend

Low pressure is moving northeast through the Upper Great Lakes and will pass by to our north today.

A wedge of warm, dry air southeast of the low will move through the area today, leading to mostly rain-free conditions and a surge in temperatures.

Skies are mixed to start the day with some areas seeing sun and others clouds. This mix of sun and clouds will continue, though skies should trend more towards sun by the late morning and through the afternoon.

Overnight rain has pushed east of the area. Rain showers will return this evening, but for the daytime hours, it should remain dry. The rain tonight will be scattered and will favor the eastern half of the region. All areas will have a chance at some rain, though.

Winds will be from the south today, but not nearly as strong as last night. Wind speeds should stay near or under 10 mph with gusts peaking around 25 mph this morning.

Temperatures will push into the low and mid 60s for most of the Finger Lakes this afternoon. The more sun, the warmer the temperatures will go. Areas north of I-90 and especially near Lake Ontario will be cooler as a lake breeze sets up.

Winds will be light tonight but will pick up from the southwest tomorrow. Wind speeds will be near or over 10 mph with gusts of 25-30 mph.

The wind shift will bring in cooler air, but it will not yet turn cold. Morning lows will be in the mid 30s with afternoon highs in the mid 40s.

Rain showers and drizzle will be possible, though there is some question how much precipitation falls. The best chance for rain looks to be later in the day and into the evening. As temperatures fall back into the 30s again during the night, some snow may mix in.

Saturday will be similar to Friday. Temperatures will start in the mid 30s then rise to the mid 40s. Precipitation will be possible, this time more so in the morning than the afternoon. Much of what falls should be rain, but some snow may mix in, especially early on.

The winds on Saturday will be lighter than on Friday with speeds of 5-10 mph and gusts near 20 mph. Winds will be stronger near and west of I-390 and will be comparable to Friday. These winds will take on a more westerly direction.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday march 24 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Turning Colder

The unsettled weather Friday and Saturday will be from the same low that is passing to our north today. However, by Sunday, a new system will move in as it dives southeast from central Canada.

Winds will turn to the northwest on Sunday and increase back to 10-15 mph. Gusts will commonly be near or just over 30 mph.

The northwest winds will bring cold air into the region. Temperatures will start Sunday in the low 30s and will have little if any rise during the daytime hours.

Scattered snow showers will be possible throughout the day on Sunday. Individual snow showers may put down a coating of snow, but it will be hard to keep that snow on the ground between snow showers.

As such, through the late afternoon, accumulations should be limited to grassy and elevated surfaces and should not amount to much. After sunset, temperatures will fall through the 20s and into the 10s. This will lead to organized lake effect snow bands and snow accumulations on the ground and roads.

As usual with lake effect, amounts will be highly dependent on the band locations and movements. Many areas will still see an inch or less of accumulation, but localized amounts of 2-4 inches will be possible. The favored snow belts across Wayne, Cayuga, Onondaga, and northern Cortland counties will have the best shot at seeing a few inches fall.

Lake snows will continue into Monday but will gradually taper off. Perhaps the bigger story Monday will be the cold and wind. Highs will struggle into the low 20s while northwest winds gust over 40 mph. Areas of blowing snow are likely.

Needless to say, it will feel very, very different than today.

Tuesday looks like a quiet and cool day, with temperatures starting in the 10s and rising to the low 30s. A warm front early Wednesday may bring some morning mixed precipitation, but warmer afternoon temperatures.

The weather beyond that continues to have a higher degree of uncertainty than usual.

More Information:

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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.