Clouds to Sun
Low pressure moved through the area yesterday and is now well out over the Atlantic Ocean while high pressure is moving across Canada.
There is plenty of low-level atmospheric moisture trapped beneath the rising pressures this morning across the Great Lakes and much of New England. Thick clouds will result through the morning and much of the afternoon hours.
Nothing is showing up on radar this morning, but that does not mean there are not pockets of drizzle here and there. With temperatures starting the day below freezing, any drizzle there is will be freezing drizzle and could make for some slick spots.
A few snowflakes could also mix in, but generally speaking, the clouds are too warm to produce many snow crystals, so drizzle is the favored precipitation type.
A steady but light north wind will blow throughout the day with speeds over 5 mph but under 10 mph. The wind will team up with the clouds to prevent temperatures from moving very quickly today. Many areas will end up with highs in the low and mid 30s.
Dry air will eventually build in from the north-northeast and some late day sun will be possible. This will especially be the case over the northeastern Finger Lakes, where the dry air will arrive first. Meanwhile, the southwestern quadrant of the region may not see any clearing until after sunset.
Skies will clear out fully this evening and north winds will continue to bring in colder air. Many areas will drop into the upper 10s and low 20s, but eastern areas, where several inches of snow fell yesterday, will drop even lower. A few single-digit readings are even possible.
Tuesday will be sunny, but north and northwest winds will ensure it is a deceptively chilly sunshine. Afternoon highs will struggle into the mid 30s for many areas, but few places will make it above 35 degrees.
Tuesday night, some clouds will build in, especially after midnight, as a subtle frontal boundary drops southwest out of New England, pushed along by the Canadian high pressure. North winds will ensure temperatures again drop to the upper 10s and low 20s with colder readings in the east.
Late Week Active Weather
Sun and clouds will fight for control of the skies on Wednesday as a southerly flow sets up over much of eastern America ahead of a potent northern Plains storm, but high pressure over Canada remains in place.
The high will have more influence on the winds and temperatures, with north winds persisting and temperatures only in the low 30s.
Gradually, though, the high pressure drift further east and clouds will increase Wednesday night into Thursday. Active weather will follow, though uncertainty remains high in the details.
The initial low pressure that moves into the Northern Plains and brings blizzard conditions to the Dakotas will redevelop further east not once, but probably twice. How the second iteration of the low, which will lift into the Great Lakes, interacts with the third, which will develop along the coast, will have a large impact on our weather.
Precipitation should first start to become a concern late Thursday. Most likely, the initial precipitation type will be snow, though some freezing rain is not out of the question.
After an initial period of snow Thursday night, in which several inches will be possible, it will be a question of whether enough warm air moves in ahead of the Great Lakes low before the coastal low takes over and pulls cooler air in from the north.
For now, I’ve left both rain and snow in the forecast for Friday. The supply of available cool air looks limited, so at least some areas turning to rain seems like a reasonable early guess. Higher elevations could remain snow, though, leading to the potential for wide variations in snow amounts over very small areas.
Obviously, this is still several days away and a lot can change in that time. This will probably not be a blockbuster winter storm, but it may have an impact on day-to-day life, especially late Thursday into Friday, so be sure to check back often for the latest honest, no-hype analysis.
Scattered lake effect snow showers will be possible behind this system through the weekend. Another low will move through the region towards the middle of next week. Early indications are for more wet than white, but it is far too early to place any bets on that.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.