Sunday’s Key Messages for early week snow and wind

finger lakes weather forecast sunday march 12 2023 key points snow and wind
Early model guidance from the Weather Prediction Center showing 50% probability snow amounts. This is NOT my official snow map. Please read ALL the key points below.

Situation Overview

Significant winter weather is possible in parts of the Finger Lakes over the next 72 hours, and on Tuesday in particular.

Two weak areas of low pressure, one diving through the Midwest and the second over the Gulf of Mexico, will both contribute to the development of a nor’easter of the Mid-Atlantic coast. This nor’easter will then stall off the coast of New England for about a day before departing.

In turn, a prolonged period of snow is possible in the Finger Lakes, starting as light snow this evening into Monday with heavier snow Monday night through Tuesday.

This is a complex scenario which places the Finger Lakes region on the edge of the heaviest snowfall, leading to varying expectations across the region and a tight gradient subject to subtle shifts in the storm path and strength.

Sunday Night through Monday

Light snow will build into the Finger Lakes Sunday evening and persist throughout Monday. Rain may mix in with the snow at times during the daytime hours on Monday.

This snow will cause only minor inconveniences, with lower elevations seeing little if any accumulation while higher elevations see an inch or two. During the daytime hours, much of what falls will probably melt. Travel is not expected to be impacted.

Temperatures on Monday will mostly be in the mid 30s. Most lower elevations will get slightly above 35 degrees while higher elevations will be just shy of 35 degrees.

» Key Point: While it will be snowing Sunday Night through the day Monday, the snow will be light and temperatures will be warm, so little to no impacts are expected.

Monday Night-Tuesday

Monday night, snow will diminish for areas roughly west of Cayuga Lake, while to the east, it intensifies. This will occur as the nor’easter begins to intensify and track northeastward toward the New England coast.

Tuesday morning, the snow will spread back to the west. Two major points of uncertainty are how far west the core of heavy snow makes it, and how long it remains in place.

Further complicating the issue will be lake enhancement off Lake Ontario later Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday night.

» Key Point: Heavy snow is possible Tuesday, especially in the eastern Finger Lakes and south of Lake Ontario, but amounts and fine details remain fuzzy at this point.


The snow should greatly diminish after midnight Tuesday, though areas of lake effect will persist into Wednesday morning. With northwest winds remaining in place, I would not be surprised to see at least some flurries into Wednesday morning.

» Key Point: How long the snow lingers Wednesday is uncertain, but the bulk of the accumulations will be over by Wednesday morning.

Snow Amounts

There remains a broad range of possible snow amounts. On the very highest end, maximum snow amounts over the eastern Finger Lakes region could exceed 20 inches. On the very lowest end, parts of the western Finger Lakes could see as little as 2-4 inches. These are both on the extreme ends of possibility, and something in the middle is most likely.

According to the latest *modeled* data from the Weather Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, areas east of Cayuga Lake have about a 50% chance for 12-16 inches, with most of the rest of the region coming in at 8-12 inches.

This is model guidance and not my final forecast and includes all snow falling from tonight through Wednesday morning. My plan is to release my own, hand-drawn (as always) snow map focusing in on Tuesday and Tuesday night’s snowfall at some point on Monday. The graphic at the top of this blog post is only meant to serve as an early first look.

» Key Point: Snow amounts remain uncertain but will be highest over the eastern Finger Lakes and may exceed a foot.
» Key Point: I have not yet produce my one and only hand-drawn snow map for this event. The graphic included here is model guidance for an early first look at the entirety of the event.


In addition to heavy snow, strong winds are likely starting Tuesday morning and lasting through the daytime hours Wednesday,

These winds will primarily be from the northwest with sustained speeds consistently staying around 15 mph from Tuesday morning, through Tuesday night, and through the daytime hours Wednesday. The wind will not drop below 10 mph or shift its direction much until Wednesday night.

Wind gusts during this time will be between 25-35 mph, though some occasional gusts to 40 mph will be possible.

The snow will be heavy and dense, but these winds will still cause at least moderate blowing and drifting. The weight of the snow combined with the winds may cause sporadic power outages. These hazards will remain even after the snow tapers off through Wednesday.

» Key Point: Strong winds will accompany this storm, leading to areas of blowing and drifting and sporadic power outages even after the snow tapers off.

Future Updates

I will have a regularly scheduled morning blog post Monday around 8 AM. Depending on how the models evolve between now and then, that post may or may not include my one and only official snow map. If not, I will have an additional afternoon/evening post with the snow map.

Tuesday morning will have a regularly scheduled 8 AM blog post. An additional update post may be made Tuesday afternoon, depending on how the snow is setting up and evolving.

Wednesday morning will likely only have its regularly scheduled 8 AM blog post.

Zip-code based forecasts on the website and app will be updated consistently as new information comes in, as usual.

I am expecting many questions throughout the duration of this event. As always, I will strive to answer them quickly and as completely as possible. To help me out, I ask the following:

  • Please check or the Finger Lakes Weather app and read the latest update completely before asking questions. I try my best to anticipate general questions and answer them in the post.
  • Please try to submit your questions via email or Facebook Messenger between 8 AM and 5 PM. These are the two channels that I get the most reliable and quickest notifications for, and that time span is when I will be most dialed into forecasting and able to respond effectively and efficiently.
» Key Point: I will continue to provide you with the latest information focused on the Finger Lakes region, but will not bombard you with confusing, conflicting shifts in expected snow amounts or new maps every few hours as new model data comes in. I am committed to making my own forecasts that transcend the wibble-wobbles inherent in multiple runs of multiple models.
» Key Point: I will remain available for personalized questions, remaining committed to my core value of Accessibility.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Zip Code Forecasts

» Your Forecast

» Get the FLX Weather Mobile App

Help Me Help you

I truly believe that Finger Lakes Weather is the best resource for weather information in the Finger Lakes. No other service focuses solely on our region. No other service allows you to directly ask the meteorologist questions, let alone get an answer within minutes as I usually provide. No other service has a no-hype pledge or openly declares to have core virtues. The Honest, Accurate, Accessible tagline I use is something I take extremely seriously. It is my business model.

I have already spent countless hours monitoring this event, long before I even mentioned it here in the blog. And I will continue to spend much of my waking hours analyzing data, writing updates, carefully and deliberately hand drawing my forecast maps, and answering dozens of questions with personalized information. Unlike every other weather service you can access, none of my forecasts or graphics are computer-generated or augmented by machines and my inbox is open for fast responses to your individual needs.

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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.

  1. Gail B. Dalmat

    I don’t recall seeing this exact format before. I LOVE it!!! Each key point and heading draw me back to focus on the NEXT one. At least for me, it was easier to read, comprehend, and remember (though I’m 72, have ADHD, and let’s face it, my brain doesn’t work as well as my 95-year-old mother). PS, good to know driving tomorrow will be okay, since several prescriptions will be ready to pick up, AND, I need groceries badly, too. Maybe even fill the gas tank. THANK YOU!!!!