Why the stubborn clouds refuse to leave; Sunday snow details

finger lakes weather forecast friday december 9 2022 clouds sun snow sunday
While the sunshine continues to get delayed, a light snowfall is still expected for Sunday. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Will the Sun Ever Shine?

A strong area of high pressure over the Hudson Bay in northern Canada is extending its influence far to the south, spreading across the Great Lakes and into the Mid-Atlantic region.

Typically, high pressure results in sunny skies. This is because high pressure results in an overall sinking of the air, where it comes from the higher up atmosphere down to lower levels. This acts in opposition to how clouds form, from the bottom up.

However, in this case, the high pressure has put a lid on the lower atmosphere, trapping moisture near the surface, partially but not fully due to the Great Lakes.

The weather models have a weakness for this type of situation, and thus the expected sunshine keeps getting put off and pushed back. That’s right, the promised sunshine is once again probably not coming today.

At least not until late. Skies are in fact clear this morning across eastern New York and New England. As the high pressure tracks to the east, winds will gradually shift from the north much of the day to a more easterly direction late. This will both push the dry air toward our region while also removing extra moisture from Lake Ontario.

The clouds should start to erode from east to west during the late afternoon and evening. Many areas may not see the clearing until after sunset. In time, skies are expected to become clear overnight, leaving sunny skies for Saturday.

At this point, though, forecast confidence has to take at least a small hit, and a little skepticism is not unreasonable.

Temperatures will mostly be in the mid 30s today, though the broad valleys of the Southern Tier and a few urban centers may make it into the upper 30s. Overnight temperatures will fall into the lower half of the 20s, assuming skies clear. Winds will be light with speeds around or under 5 mph.

The temperature will get a small boost tomorrow, again assuming mostly clear skies, with a high around 40 degrees.

Later in the afternoon, clouds will build in from the southwest out ahead of a system that will bring some snow in on Sunday.

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

Wintry Weather

The first snow showers should move into the Finger Lakes region between midnight Saturday and dawn Sunday. A band of steadier, widespread snow is then expected for Sunday morning.

Temperatures will likely start the day in the 20s but will rise as the snow moves through. Most places should see the ground turn white, but accumulations will be minor. Lower elevations and near-lake locations will see up to an inch, while higher elevations could see two or even three inches.

The steady snow should move out during the midday or early afternoon, but on-and-off precipitation will continue to be possible through the afternoon. Some rain is likely to mix in, especially over northern and western areas, where temperatures push into the upper 30s.

Scattered snow showers will linger due to some lake enhancement Sunday night into Monday morning. A few higher elevations southeast of Lake Ontario could see another inch or so of accumulation. Overnight lows will be around 30 degrees.

Snow should end and the sun should come out Monday afternoon. Clear skies Monday night will send temperatures down into the low 20s again. Some areas that see a few inches of snowpack may dip into the 10s.

Tuesday looks sunny as high pressure moves overhead. Clouds will build back in on Wednesday as the next system approaches. High temperatures Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will be near average in the mid 30s.

The threat of wintry precipitation remains for next Thursday and Friday as a strong weather system moves across the nation. The details continue to wobble between more and less snow and ice, and it is still far too early to quibble about them. Stay tuned, though, as there will be several avenues to impactful weather.

Low pressure is likely to hang around the region through next weekend. Eventually, enough cold air is expected that snow is the most likely precipitation type. Lake effect will likely play a role in how much falls and where.

Temperatures are expected to remain cool with highs mostly in the 20s and 30s. If we do manage to get a snowpack late next week, there is a chance it could last until Christmas.

Calendar Updates

With the exception of orders made last evening, all pre-orders and more recent orders have been put in the mail. You should have received two emails: one marking the order complete, and a second with the shipment tracking number. If you did not receive those emails (check spam and the promotions tab), please let me know. Most people should receive their calendars by tomorrow, but of course that is not a guarantee and is ultimately up to the USPS.

It is not too late to get a calendar, though time and supplies are running short! The extras I ordered due to printer quotas are steadily dwindling! The early reviews are tremendous, with people loving the pictures, local weather statistics, and weather tracking stickers. Don’t miss out… order yours right now! They make a great gift, too!

» Get your calendar(s) here!

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday december 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.