Quiet Wednesday ahead of snow, ice, and rain Thursday into Friday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday december 14 2022 snow ice rain thursday friday
Wintry weather is on the way for Thursday and Friday. Here are the latest no-hype details you can trust. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Wednesday-Thursday Details

Clouds ahead of a strong weather system over the Midwest are attempting to push into the Finger Lakes region.

However, high pressure over eastern Canada extends south through the area and is working hard to keep the clouds at bay.

The clouds and sun will struggle for control of the sky throughout the day. Areas further west will see more clouds, while to the east, more sun is expected. Even in cloudy areas, however, the sun will still often filter through the clouds.

Light north winds supplied by the high will hold temperatures down, ranging from the mid 30s in broad river valleys and near the lakeshores, to the upper 20s in some of the hilly terrain of Central New York. Most areas will be in the low 30s.

Clouds will gradually thicken tonight as winds turn to the southeast. Temperatures will initially drop into the upper 10s and low 20s but should rise again to the upper 20s or near 30 by sunrise Thursday.

Precipitation should be poised just to the southwest of the area early Thursday morning. Over the course of the morning, the precipitation should spread into the southwestern half of the region. During the early afternoon, precipitation will begin in the rest of the area.

Through the morning, much of what falls will be an icy mix of freezing rain, sleet, and some snow. This will gradually transition over to mostly snow in the afternoon, though pockets of icy precipitation will remain possible. A few areas may even see plain rain.

This initial batch of precipitation will be heavy and should last several hours. Areas that see mostly snow will see several quick inches. Travel will quickly become difficult.

By Thursday evening, the precipitation will probably be tapering off or even ending in some areas as the initial band lifts northeast of the region. Most of the precipitation by this time will probably be snow or plain rain, though a few pockets of freezing rain will still be possible.

Travel conditions Thursday night will vary greatly depending on location, elevation, and road treatment plans. Some roads may be just wet. Others will be extremely difficult to traverse.

In general, higher elevations will see the worst of the wintry weather Thursday afternoon lingering into Thursday evening. This will especially be the case from Steuben County northeast and east to southern Onondaga, Cortland, and Tioga counties.

Snow amounts by Friday morning will vary greatly, but should generally be 3-6 inches in lower elevations, and 5-9 inches in higher elevations, not including the western Southern Tier, where ice will be a bigger factor.

» See the latest weather alerts from the National Weather Service

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday december 14 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Friday Weather, Weekend Lake Effect Flurries

A second low pressure will develop Thursday evening over the Carolinas and will be along the coast of New Jersey by Friday morning. From there, it will take most of the day to creep along, ending up near Cape Cod Friday evening.

The heaviest precipitation from this secondary low will remain east of the Finger Lakes, tracking across the Catskills, Adirondacks, and into New England. However, that does not mean our area will be precipitation free.

Rain and snow showers are likely on Friday and will be steadiest from about Keuka Lake eastward. Elevation will again play a role in precipitation type, so some of the same areas that I mentioned above for the brunt of Thursday’s wintry weather will see the brunt of Friday, locally speaking, as well.

For areas that see all or mostly snow on Friday, an additional 2-5 inches will be possible. Areas that see more or mostly rain will see anywhere from no additional accumulation to an inch or two.

Temperatures throughout this event, from Thursday morning, through the night, and throughout Friday, will hover in the low and mid 30s. A degree or two will be all that separates the areas that see mixed precipitation and lower accumulations and mostly snow and moderate accumulations. The snow that does accumulate will be heavy and wet.

By late Friday afternoon or Friday evening, most of the precipitation should be coming to an end. It will remain mostly cloudy, but quiet, Friday night with temperatures slipping back into the 20s. Slick roads may be possible as temperatures drop.

Some lake effect will develop this weekend, but much of what falls will do so outside of the Finger Lakes. Scattered snow showers will drift through from time to time, but with little additional accumulation.

Winds will not be strong this weekend, coming in from the west and southwest at 5-10 mph. Afternoon highs will be in the low and mid 30s with morning lows ranging through the 10s. Some pockets of 10s are possible Sunday morning, especially in the areas that see more snow the next couple of days.

Mostly quiet weather is expected for much of next week until another weather system moves in late in the week. This system is too far out to tell what it may do, but at least some of the models indicate that it is worth watching.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Zip Code Forecasts

» Your Forecast

» Get the FLX Weather Mobile App

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday december 14 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

Don’t Miss an Important Update

Keep updated with the latest on the wintry weather, and all of the weather in the Finger Lakes. Signing up for email alerts will ensure you always get the latest information — Facebook and other social media channels pick and choose what you see and are thus not reliable for getting the most updated information!

finger lakes weather email weather forecast updates
Get emailed with the latest weather information from Finger Lakes Weather! Click for more details.

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.

14 Responses

  1. Esa

    Thanks Drew! I love my new calendar! What does the commute look like from ithaca to Cortland Thursday and approximately when will it start getting dicey?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      I’m so glad to hear that, Esa! Thank you for supporting my work with your purchase!

      The morning commute should not give you any trouble. I suspect it will start to go downhill fast sometime in the late morning or midday hours, with a small chance it may hold off a little longer. As such, the afternoon/evening commute will be slow and difficult.

  2. Claire

    Supposed to drive from Ithaca to Albany on Friday. What’s the forecast like for travel East?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Unfortunately the further east you go on Friday, the worse it will get. Expect a lot of snow, often heavy, and slow, hazardous travel conditions.

  3. Pam Van Gelder

    Fabulous response to your calendar! Great idea. Happiest of Holidays to you and your Drew!

    • Pam Van Gelder

      typo…you and yours!

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you so much, Pam! Happy Holidays to you as well!

  4. Kelly

    Do you have any more details for travel between Southern Cayuga County and Ithaca for Thursday and Friday, Drew? That’s my work commute, and I’m getting nervous! Thank you!

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thursday morning should be fine. Thursday afternoon/evening will be difficult and very slow. Friday is still a bit uncertain, but will probably not be great in the morning but improving in the afternoon. There is a chance the main roads (34/38) will be mostly clear if temperatures are just warm enough and the precipitation light enough, assuming road crews are giving even adequate attention to those routes. Backroads, as always, will be trickier.

      • Kelly Doolittle

        Thank you – that’s very helpful. I just had another request pop up, and that is whether you think RT 81 south will still be impacted greatly by Friday evening? I had contemplated picking up my son from Binghamton (he was going to take a bus from Scranton to save us some travel time,) and we cancelled yesterday due to the possibility of some heavy snow. But if by Friday afternoon, the roads between Ithaca and Binghamton are fine, I might change my mind.

        If it’s still unsure, we won’t risk it though. He’d probably need to get that bus ticket today. Thanks Drew.

        • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

          There will probably still be light snow along I-81 well after sunset Friday evening. Temperatures will also start to drop, which could complicate the road conditions more. With the higher elevations between Ithaca and Binghamton, I’d suspect roads will be wintry to some extent.

        • Kelly Doolittle

          Thank you Drew – I will stop second guessing myself! We’ll miss seeing our son, but he’s coming later next week anyway, so it’s all good!

  5. Constance Starmer

    Drew Montreuil !
    You are my favorite with your weather posts ! Thank you ! I purchased two of your calendars –
    One for my husband and myself , one for my son who lives in Reno .
    While our son loves this area , he’s been out west Tahoe/Reno for over a decade following college .
    He says he can’t stand the NY humidity anymore but is looking to find a small finger lake or central NY cottage for the late summer early fall months as Reno smoke from forest fires is dense and lasts weeks .
    Our son is lucky to have lived in 2 gorgeous areas. So I’m sure he will enjoy the pictures as well as your calendar . Again , thank you .

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you for letting me know, Constance! 😀