Wind and Snow
As low pressure lingers and strengthens over eastern Canada, an area of high pressure will start to bump in from the southwest.
The interaction between these pressure systems will shift and increase our winds today, which in turn will move the lake effect snow bands around.
Already, the snows off Lake Erie have shifted south. Some occasional snow showers linger early this morning across the Southern Tier, but the Lake Ontario band remains well to the north over the Tug Hill.
This has much of the region is starting with partly cloudy to mostly clear skies between the lake effect bands. Mixed to sunny skies will continue through much of the morning.
Winds will increase through the morning, reaching peak speeds by the late morning hours. These winds will persist through the mid-afternoon, with speeds over 15 mph and gusts as high as 40 mph. The wind direction will shift from the west to the northwest.
Lake snows off Ontario will enter the northeastern Finger Lakes during the afternoon hours. The band is not expected to make it much further south than Wayne, central Cayuga, and extreme northern Cortland counties. Wayne and southern Cayuga counties have a Winter Weather Advisory.
The heaviest snow will focus over northern Cayuga and Onondaga counties between 4 PM and midnight. Localized amounts up to a foot will be possible within the core of heaviest snow. Both of these areas have a Lake Effect Snow Warning.
Syracuse will be on the northern edge of this area, so those with travel plans in Syracuse and heading west and south should expect some difficult travel this evening.
Elsewhere, Lake Erie will supply several inches of snow across Allegany and southwestern Steuben counties. Through the middle of the Finger Lakes, from Batavia to Penn Yan to Ithaca, only non-accumulating flurries are expected at most.
Temperatures will be cold, so snow should easily stick where it falls, including on untreated roadways. Afternoon highs will be near or just above 30 degrees for lower elevations, while middle and higher elevations will stick to the upper 20s.
Evening temperatures will quickly drop to the low and mid 20s with overnight lows in the upper 10s and low 20s. Winds will lessen somewhat overnight, but gusts over 25 mph will still be possible.
The wind will turn to the southwest after midnight, lifting the snow bands to the north. By Wednesday morning, only a few stray flurries will linger in our area. A few additional flurries will be possible on Wednesday as warmer air begins its first approach.
Wednesday will still be cool, though, with highs in the low and mid 30s.
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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A steady southwest wind and a mix of thin clouds and sunshine will help boost temperatures on Thursday.
Even higher elevations should push to 40 degrees and most of the Finger Lakes will easily reach the mid 40s. Wind speeds will be around 10 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
Clouds will increase Thursday night with southwest winds persisting. This will keep temperatures mild with overnight lows in the mid 30s.
Rain will spread in from the south on Friday. The timing and intensity of the rain are still a bit uncertain, as is the chance for some late day higher elevation snow to mix in.
Friday should have highs in the low 40s with overnight lows in the low 30s as precipitation comes to an end.
Saturday will have a mix of sun and clouds with highs in the low 40s.
The next system will move in later Sunday or Sunday night. This should primarily be wet, not white, with daytime temperatures remaining well into the 40s and overnight temperatures in the mid and upper 30s.
Unsettled weather will persist for much of next week, but it is uncertain if it will get cold enough for any of the precipitation to turn out as snow. A lack of significantly cold air is likely to persist into mid-December, with today possibly being the coldest day over the next 2 weeks.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.