A strong area of high pressure moving eastward through central Canada will bump up against low pressure lingering off the coast of Maine.
The clash of these two opposite pressure systems will set up a tight pressure gradient across the lower Great Lakes region, including here, in the Finger Lakes. Tight pressure gradients in turn produce blustery winds.
Skies are starting off this morning with a good deal of sunshine. As the sun heats the surface, the winds will start to pick up. The winds will be at their peak from the late morning through the mid afternoon. These winds will be from the northwest with speeds of 15-20 mph and gusts of 35-45 mph.
Wind speeds will drop slightly as the sun begins to set, but gusts as high as 35 mph will continue to be possible this evening. Even through the overnight and early Wednesday, a few gusts to 30 mph are likely.
The northwest winds will also bring cooler air into the region, keeping highs mostly in the low 30s and upper 20s. Wind chills will drop into the 10s. Nighttime temperatures will range from the mid 20s near the lakes to the upper 10s in some of the higher elevations.
Some moisture rotating around the coastal low will sneak in from the northeast. Clouds will increase and some light snow showers will develop later this afternoon as the moisture is aided along by Lake Ontario.
Light snow showers will persist this evening, through the overnight, and into early Wednesday morning. Accumulations will generally be under an inch, but a few localized areas could see an inch or two. This will be most likely in the higher elevations between Syracuse and Cortland.
Any lingering snow should taper off Wednesday morning, though clouds are likely to remain in place for much of the day. Winds will continue to slowly decrease with gusts at or under 20 mph by the afternoon.
Temperatures on Wednesday will remain cool with highs in the upper 20s and low 30s. Nighttime temperatures will mostly be in the mid 20s Wednesday night with a few cooler pockets thanks to persistent cloud cover. Any breaks in the clouds could allow temperatures to slip lower.
Late Week and Weekend Weather
Thursday will be a quiet day with no precipitation expected across the region. Some clouds will likely be in place, but some sun may be able to filter through the overcast.
A persistent northwest flow will continue with wind speeds around 10 mph and gusts of 20-25 mph. Temperatures will again be in the upper 20s and low 30s. While it may be splitting hairs, Thursday looks a degree or two colder than either today or Wednesday.
Friday will also be rather cloudy but precipitation free, at least during the daytime hours. Winds will be light from the north with speeds only around 5 mph.
Temperatures may be able to rebound a few degrees with the lighter surface winds and a switch to southerly winds above the surface. Look for highs to range through the 30s, with the Southern Tier coming in as the warmest area.
A weather system will track near or over the area Friday night into early Saturday. There is still a small chance for a moderate snowfall from this event, but much more likely is either a near miss with snow staying south, or just a light snowfall across the Finger Lakes.
Assuming snow does fall in the Finger Lakes, it should end by midday Saturday with some late afternoon sun possible. Temperatures Friday night will mostly be in the mid 20s as the clouds and snow move through, while highs on Saturday push toward the mid 30s with the late sun.
Saturday night may end up cold if skies can clear out enough. Right now, in the 7-day forecast graphic, I went with a conservative average of near 20 degrees, but some areas could be well into the 10s.
Sunday will rebound from its cold start to a high around 40 degrees thanks to sunshine and light winds. Thanks to Daylight Savings Time kicking in, the sunshine will stick around until around 7 PM Sunday.
Early next week looks unsettled with the potential for snow later Monday, peaking on Tuesday, and lingering into Wednesday. While some models show heavy snow falling, it is too far out, and the consensus in the models too low, to put much stock in that coming to fruition.
The rest of next week looks quiet at this point. Temperatures will remain in the 30s, which is close to or just a little below average for mid-March.
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This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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