Cold, Wind, and Some Snow
Low pressure over eastern Canada is pushing cold air into our region and will lead to localized areas of lake effect snow for the next couple of days.
On the fringes of our region, Wyoming County in the west and Onondaga County in the northeast are under Lake Effect Snow Warnings for the duration of this event through Wednesday morning. No other counties in the Finger Lakes region have any alerts at this time.
Most of what is falling in the Finger Lakes early Monday morning is still rain. However, colder air is moving into the region above the surface, and a sufficient cold layer will develop to change most of the precipitation over to snow, or at least a rain-snow mix today.
Some areas may still see afternoon temperatures push into the upper 30s to near 40 degrees. This will be most likely in the north, where some sun may poke out north of I-90, and also from in the broad valleys from Corning to Binghamton.
The rest of the area will stick to the mid 30s today, with some low 30s in the southwestern Finger Lakes, where precipitation off Lake Erie will be prevalent.
The west wind will be blustery today, with gusts occasionally around 30 mph. These blustery winds will push occasional snow showers from Lake Erie across the Finger Lakes. Daytime accumulations should be limited to Wyoming and Allegany counties.
Tonight, as temperatures drop, the lake effect will organize and intensify. A narrow band will extend west-to-east through the middle of the Finger Lakes. The band will probably not stay in one spot for long, so accumulations will be limited. Much of this snow will stay north of Ithaca, but south of Geneva. Heavy snow with moderate to significant accumulations will occur in the western Southern Tier.
Overnight temperatures will drop to the low and mid 20s. Wind speeds will subside somewhat, but will remain steady from the west.
Tuesday morning, the wind will slightly jog just north or west. This will disrupt the Lake Erie snow, reducing it to on and off flurries across the Southern Tier. The Lake Ontario band, meanwhile, should stay just north of the region through the morning.
Tuesday afternoon, the Ontario band will then drop south into our region. There are questions about how this will unfold. Several inches are likely through Tuesday evening in the northeastern quadrant of the region, but amounts will ultimately be determined by how well organized the band is and how long it remains in place.
There is also a chance the band could drop south through the northern and eastern Finger Lakes as a squall, then redevelop southeast of Lake Ontario.
Regardless of the snow, it will be cold and windy. Wind gusts will frequently be over 30 mph and as high as 40 mph as they turn from the west to the northwest. High temperatures will be in the upper 20s and low 30s.
Lake snows will wobble around the northeastern Finger Lakes Tuesday evening before lifting north and exiting the region overnight. By Wednesday morning, there should be nothing but a few lingering flurries left in the area.
Hand Drawn Snow Maps
Did you know that my snow maps are ALWAYS hand drawn? Every little curve, bump, and bubble in the snow amounts is a deliberate decision that I make. Most other snow maps you see online are either computer generated from a suite of model data or a generalized broad-brush that misses out on key details.
Just creating the snow map graphic usually takes me 30 minutes or more as I tweak and adjust minute details, add in annotations, and include unique features such as the confidence and travel ratings. This does not include the days of forecasting that usually precede even starting the map.
This time and dedication is the direct result of you, my supporters. Without your financial backing, I would not be able to do this. Unfortunately, as costs continue to rise, so does the need for additional funding.
That is why, last year, I began the produce a high quality, unique calendar and almanac. Now in its second year, the calendar has seen massive upgrades in paper quality and is now printed locally in Auburn. This is truly a top-notch production and the quality will rival any other calendar you can purchase. The same attention to detail and sky-high expectations I pour into my snow maps, I poured into this calendar.
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Quieter and Warmer
Southwest winds will keep lake effect out of the area on Wednesday, though temperatures will remain on the chilly side. Morning lows may dip into the upper 10s for some of the typically colder areas with low 20s most other places. Afternoon highs will be in the low and mid 30s.
Wednesday should remain rather cloudy, even into the evening and overnight. Wednesday night will not be as cold with the clouds and southwest winds with overnight lows in the upper 20s.
Thursday should be a quiet and milder day with highs into the mid 40s. Skies will be a mix of sun and clouds with no precipitation expected.
By Friday, a weather system will swing by with some rain showers. There is a small chance for a steadier rain if everything perfectly aligns. Temperatures will remain in the mid 40s.
Saturday looks dry with a return of at least some sunshine. Temperatures will be a touch cooler, but not too chilly, with highs around 40 degrees.
Sunday may have some sun, but clouds will ultimately win out. Temperatures should bounce back into the mid 40s.
The snow chances will remain minimal until later next week, though there are no identifiable snow events on the horizon. There is even a chance temperatures could warm during that period, instead.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.