Snowy, windy day as nor’easter clips the Finger Lakes region

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday march 14 2023 snow wind winter storm warning
Highly variable snow amounts are expected throughout the Finger Lakes today as the forecast remains on track and unchanged. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Forecast Unchanged

A complex low pressure system along the southern New England coast is beginning to throw extra moisture and energy back into the Finger Lakes region this morning.

Snow has gradually increased in coverage overnight, especially east of Seneca Lake. To the west of Seneca Lake, there are some bands of snow as well, but they are more scattered.

The snow will continue to overspread the region this morning, with heavy snow developing across the northeastern Finger Lakes in a band from roughly Wayne to Cortland counties. This remains unchanged from my previous forecast updates.

The highest uncertainty in snow amounts today remains on the southern edge of this band, including areas around Geneva and Ithaca. There are two major sources of uncertainty in this area.

  • How far south the heaviest snow within the band will make it
  • How elevation and the lakes will impact snow amounts

Because of these two factors, I am expecting highly variable snow amounts through Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Schuyler, and Tompkins counties in particular. Valley locations and especially lake shore areas may see much less snow than higher elevations.

finger lakes weather forecast snow map tuesday march 13 2023
The snow map I published yesterday remains unchanged with the highest amounts in the hills of the eastern FLX and highly variable amounts through the middle of the FLX. Click to enlarge.

This is illustrated on my snow map as well as can be done on a regional view, but even more variation than what is shown is possible.

Also unchanged is the area of expected highest snow amounts across southern Cayuga and especially northern Cortland and southern Onondaga counties. These areas have a high chance of seeing over a foot of snow. Again, higher elevations will have the highest amounts.

Across the Southern Tier and western Finger Lakes, generally lower amounts are expected. Some of the broad valleys of Allegany, Steuben, and Livingston counties may only see a couple of inches of accumulation.

The peak of the snow will come this afternoon into the early evening. Snowfall rates should decline through the evening and quickly overnight. A few snow showers off Lake Ontario will likely linger into Wednesday morning before dry air and marginal temperatures cut them off.

Winds gusting between 35-45 mph from the northwest will cause some sporadic power outages thanks to the heavy weight of the snow. Some localized blowing and drifting will also be possible but will not be as major as a concern as it would be if the snow was fluffier.

Temperatures today will range from the upper 20s to the mid 30s, while overnight lows will range through the 20s.

Overall, there are no changes being made to my forecast. What I expected yesterday still holds true today.

finger lakes weather medium range snow outlook tuesday march 14 2023 see blog text for pertinent information
Behind today’s snow, mild weather will keep snow chances near zero through the weekend and beyond.

Mild Late Week

Winds will remain gusty on Wednesday, keeping some roads messy due to blowing and drifting snow. It will be a rather cloudy day, and I would not be surprised to see a few lingering snow showers or spits of drizzle. Generally speaking, though, precipitation will not be a major factor.

Temperatures will reach a high in the low and mid 30s, with nighttime temperatures falling back into the low half of the 20s with a few pockets of 10s.

Thursday will remain mostly cloudy, though a few glimpses of sun may be possible. Winds will swing around to the south, but will be light. It will be enough for highs to reach into the low and mid 40s, anyway.

Rain showers are likely on Friday with temperatures starting in the mid 30s and rising to a high in the mid 40s. The rain looks sporadic and light, with amounts around a quarter inch. No flooding risks are expected.

Temperatures will cool for the weekend, with highs in the mid 30s on Saturday and low 30s on Sunday. Saturday night may be chilly with widespread 10s for lows.

A few stray flurries will be possible on Saturday, with a slightly better chance for some snow showers on Sunday. Little to no accumulation is expected.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast tue mar 14 | tues, windy with snow low 30 | wed, windy blowing snow mid 30 | thur, mostly cloudy mid 40 | fri, rain showers mid 40 | sat, mostly cloudy mid 30 | sun, a few flurries low 30 | mon, mostly sunny mid 40
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Temperatures will bounce back into the 40s on Monday as some sun finally makes it into the forecast. Tuesday will likely be a couple of degrees warmer than Monday and remain dry, even as clouds increase.

Unsettled weather looks possible for the middle and end of next week, but temperatures are currently expected to remain on the mild side with highs in the 40s. This would not necessarily prevent snow during the nighttime hours, though.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast tue mar 14 | tues, windy with snow low 30 | wed, windy blowing snow mid 30 | thur, mostly cloudy mid 40 | fri, rain showers mid 40 | sat, mostly cloudy mid 30 | sun, a few flurries low 30 | mon, mostly sunny mid 40
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Carol

    Hi, I postponed my travels back to Ithaca today based on the forecast. I’d appreciate your input as to any weather advisories regarding my returning tomorrow (Wednesday) as I’ll be traveling from NYC up through the Poconos & Scranton/Binghamton before arriving in Ithaca. Thank you in advance.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      HI Carol. You may need a little extra time due to blowing and drifting snow, but overall, travel tomorrow should be better than today.