Frigid Air Mass
An outbreak of arctic air has invaded the Finger Lakes region but will not stick around long.
Temperatures plummeted overnight behind a strong cold front and snow squall and are in the single-digits across the Finger Lakes this morning. Blustery northwest winds will only increase this morning, and temperatures may even lose a couple more degrees during the daylight hours.
Northwest winds will increase to 15-20 mph with gusts frequently near or over 40 mph. With temperatures sticking to the single digits, wind chill values will spend the day between -10 and -20 degrees.
Occasional flurries and squalls of Lake Ontario will dance around the region, and some of the eastern Finger Lakes may also get in on the action with their own localized snow bands. This will especially be the case off Cayuga Lake for areas just south-southeast of the southern end of the lake.
Most areas will see no more than an inch of accumulation during the daytime hours, but two or three inches will be possible in the more persistent snow areas, including downwind of Cayuga Lake, and portions of Wayne, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Cortland counties.
Blowing and drifting snow will be commonplace throughout the region, keeping roads messy, especially in open rural areas. Temperatures are also cold enough that rock salt will be largely ineffective in clearing the roadways.
Winds will remain blustery after sunset, but not quite as strong. The end result will be the same, though, with blowing snow, areas of lake effect, and decreasing wind chills thanks to falling temperatures.
Most areas should end up between -5 and 0 degrees tonight, but there will be both warmer and colder pockets. Wind chill values will commonly be between -15 and -25 degrees, though parts of Cortland and Onondaga counties could see wind chills around -30 degrees.
Several more inches of lake effect snow will be possible, especially across Wayne and Cayuga counties, and around the Cortland-Onondaga county line. Blowing snow will continue region wide.
By sunrise Saturday, wind speeds will be down to around 5 mph and the wind direction will begin to turn southwesterly. This should put a quick end to any lingering lake effect flurries, and by noon, wind chill values should climb back above zero.
Saturday will be a cloudy day, and while still cool, not nearly as cold as Friday. Look for afternoon highs mostly in the low and mid 20s.
Fast Warm Up
Temperatures Saturday evening will lose a couple of degrees, but should mostly stay in the 20s. South winds will increase to 10-15 mph with a gradual shift to the southwest by Sunday morning.
Warmer air will start to move in from the west before sunrise Sunday. By dawn, temperatures will range from the mid 20s in Cortland and Tioga counties to the mid 30s near Rochester. Most areas will be somewhere around 30 degrees.
Once the sun is up, temperatures will jump in a hurry. By noon, 40s will be widespread and highs will be near or above 45 degrees for many areas.
It will be another cloudy day, but no precipitation is expected. The wind may be a bit on the blustery side during the morning and midday hours, but will settle down for the afternoon.
Monday will be a cooler blip in the warm pattern, with highs “only” in the mid 30s. A few snow showers will be possible in the morning with little to no accumulation. Some afternoon sun may follow.
Tuesday will jump back into the mid 40s. Clouds will increase and thicken and some late day rain showers are likely. Light rain will persist through the night but should move out before sunrise Wednesday.
Clouds will decrease Wednesday morning, and the afternoon has a chance of being sunny. Highs should at least reach the mid 40s once again.
Thursday may be warmer yet as south winds develop ahead of the next weather system. Rain will move in late in the day and possibly linger into Friday.
Generally, above average temperatures are expected into the following week as well, but with a more active weather pattern, and thus greater uncertainty in the day-to-day conditions.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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