Fringe Lake Effect
A cold air mass will stick around into the weekend, creating ripe conditions for lake effect snow.
However, with winds generally from the west and southwest, the Finger Lakes will be limited to an occasional spray of snow showers off Lake Erie without any significant accumulation.
Wind shifts will cause the Lake Erie snow bands to wobble around western New York before lifting north of the area on Saturday. Pinpointing the timing and location of the snow locally will be difficult, but without major impacts, is not overly important to the overall messages the forecast provides.
That being said, the most likely times for snow in the Finger Lakes appear to be today until the mid to late afternoon, tonight after midnight, and through Friday. Much of the snow during the day Friday will concentrate in the I-90 region before dropping south during the evening.
Little to no snow accumulation will result for these snow showers, but if your travels take you west of I-390, into Wyoming or Genesee counties, the snow will start to pile up.
Winds will be on the blustery side today, coming in from the west at 10-15 mph. Top gusts may approach 35 mph, especially between about 10 AM and 2 PM. Tomorrow, winds will be from the southwest. Wind speeds will still be around 10 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Temperatures will remain cold and will, in fact, get colder. A few areas may still manage to get to near 40 degrees today, but mostly highs will be in the mid and upper 30s. Tomorrow highs will commonly be in the mid 30s. Overnight temperatures tonight will range through the 20s, while Friday night sends temperatures in the 10s and low 20s.
As mentioned earlier, by Saturday, the winds will take on enough of a southerly component that the Lake Erie band will stay well northwest of our area. Clouds should break up enough for some glimpses of sunshine.
South-southwest winds will blow at near or just under 10 mph with gusts of 20-25 mph. It will remain cold, however, with highs in the low and mid 30s.
On Sunday, a small weather system will track across southeastern Canada. This system may spread a few flurries into the area and will turn winds to the west. Wind speeds will increase and could approach 20 mph in places. Gusts will frequently be at or above 40 mph.
With high temperatures struggling into the low 30s, these winds will produce wind chill values in the teens.
The wind will turn back to the southwest Sunday night with speeds dropping to around 10 mph. These winds will persist on Monday, keeping the area dry with a mix of sun and clouds. Some warmer air will start to move in as well, with highs reaching the low 40s.
Tuesday looks like our best shot for a sunny day. The sunshine should help temperatures into the mid 40s. A small cold front late Wednesday will bring a few flurries, but not before another day in the 40s.
Late in the week, the weather becomes less certain. A weather system is expected to dive southeast out of the northern Plains and toward the East Coast.
If this system takes a path through the Great Lakes, temperatures could get a bump with some rain ending as snow. Or the system may track into the Mid-Atlantic, keeping our region mostly dry and chilly. An in-between scenario could lead to snow across the Finger Lakes.
With Thanksgiving travel in full force next weekend, this system is bound to get extra attention. Be wary of early predictions of travel-snarling snowstorms and rest assured that I have already been monitoring this for days and will continue to do so.
As we head into the week following this system, no major pattern changes are expected. Temperatures will remain mostly in the 30s or lower 40s. There may be some chance for snow showers, but no major storms are being hinted at on the models at this time.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.