Another dreary day in the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday december 7 2022 cloudy showers drizzle
Mild temperatures around 50 degrees will accompany more clouds, showers, and drizzle today. Cooler air builds in late with highs tomorrow in the 30s. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Showers and Drizzle

A broad, disorganized area of unsettled weather continues to sit overhead and will keep the weather gloomy today and much of tomorrow.

Small areas of low pressure are moving along a weak frontal boundary that extends from the St. Lawrence Valley all the way to Texas. With the boundary to our west, warm air has seeped into the region. Temperatures overnight did not drop, and most areas are starting out today between 45-50 degrees.

The radar across the Finger Lakes was clear early this morning, but showers over Pennsylvania were moving toward the area. These will be scattered about throughout the morning and may become more widespread as time goes on.

Showers will continue into the midday and early afternoon before tapering off. It will remain cloudy and drizzly, though, with a few occasional spits of active rain as well.

Winds will eventually turn from the south this morning to the northwest later this afternoon. Wind speeds will remain light enough to be barely noticeable, though.

Temperatures will add a couple of degrees, topping out roughly around 50 degrees for most areas. During the afternoon, the temperature will probably lose a couple of degrees as the winds shift.

Lake effect drizzle is likely tonight and into Thursday. Without cold air in the clouds, snowflakes will not be able to form, keeping the precipitation liquid as temperatures fall to the mid 30s tonight. If any pockets slip below freezing, the drizzle will freeze, making for some slick spots.

There will be a gradual reduction in the drizzle on Thursday, and by the afternoon, some sunshine should start to press in on the peripheries of the region. Much of the area may not see much sun before it sets, though, with the lake effect clouds holding fast.

Temperatures will only rise a few degrees to a high around 40 degrees. As skies continue to clear Thursday night, temperatures will fall back into the 20s.

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

Active Pattern Remains

Friday and Saturday will bring a small reprieve from the December dreariness. Both days will have some sunshine darting in and out of periods of clouds. Most of the clouds on both days will be higher in the atmosphere, and thus thinner, allowing some sunshine to filter through.

Friday will see highs in the upper 30s while Saturday should push into the low 40s. A strong area of high pressure over eastern Canada will have our winds lightly from the east.

These winds will turn to the southeast Saturday night and increase slightly as a weak low pressure system moves into Michigan. This low will then redevelop along the coast near New Jersey on Sunday, remaining relatively weak.

If this unfolds, it will place the Finger Lakes near or just north of the “bridge” of lower pressures between the two lows. This is a prime spot for precipitation, and with the Canadian high supplying cold air, much of what falls may end up as snow.

This is a relatively new development on the models, and not all are completely on board with the idea. With temperatures also teetering on the edge between rain and snow as they top out in the mid 30s, uncertainty is very high.

At most, the region is looking at a widespread snowfall of several inches. At the least, there is no snow or even no precipitation at all.

My feeling is closer to the snowier scenario, but with some rain mixing in across the northern and western areas that will limit accumulations. To the east and the Southern Tier, especially over higher elevations, there is a real potential for some accumulation.

This system will pull out on Monday but may supply a few rain and snow showers to start the day. Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry before a more potent storm system rolls in for the latter half of next week.

The Canadian high will still be in place to supply cold air, which could lead to concerns for a period of icy or snowy weather. At this early stage, however, there is a good bet that at least some of what falls will be rain, given the expected strength of this system.

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday december 7 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.