Sunday morning snow update, Tuesday wind preview

finger lakes weather forecast sunday january 7 2024 8 am radar snow
The radar at 8 AM showed steady moderate to heavy snow over the eastern half of the Finger Lakes with lighter snow to the west.

Gradual Winding Down

The Finger Lakes region is in the midst of the second phase of the first significant snow event of the season this Sunday morning.

Moisture on the backside of low pressure along the New England coast is bringing moderate to at times heavy snow to the region early this morning.

Already though, western areas are seeing a decrease in snowfall rates as the core of the moisture and energy slides east.

The trend for decreasing snowfall rates will take hold across the rest of the region during the mid and late morning hours. Lighter snow is likely to continue into the afternoon, especially to the southeast of Lake Ontario, where some lake enhancement will keep the snow around longer.

The last of the steady snow should be reduced to just a few lingering flurries by 3-5 PM. Most areas will see the steady snow end before this.

Additional snow amounts after 7 AM today will generally be in the 2-4 inch range. I could see some areas southeast of Lake Ontario, across Cayuga, Onondaga, and northern Cortland Counties, getting slightly more.

Temperatures will rise into the low and mid 30s this afternoon, aiding in the treatment of roads. Travel conditions today will largely depend on road treatment plans but will gradually improve.

Northwest wind gusts will increase to 20-25 mph this afternoon and evening, leading to some areas of blowing and drifting snow.

Stray snow showers will continue into the evening and overnight, possibly extending into early Monday morning. Most of Monday should be dry, but cloudy. High temperatures will again be in the low to mid 30s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast sun jan 7 | sun, snow gradually winds down mid 30 | mon, mostly cloudy mid 30 | tues, high winds, rain late upper 30 | wed, rain and snow showers near 40 | thur, rain and snow showers upper 30 | fri, late rain, starting as snow upper 30 | sat, snow showers upper 30
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday Wind Preview

Attention now turns to the potential for high winds Tuesday evening.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has already issued a number of High Wind Watches, which will be turned to Wind Advisories or (more likely) High Wind Warnings in the future.

Winds will increase from the southeast Tuesday afternoon as low pressure tracks into the Great Lakes. Our peak winds are currently expected Tuesday evening with gusts of 55-65 mph possible. For comparison, the wind criteria for a severe thunderstorm is 58 mph.

Higher elevations above 1200 feet will be more susceptible to strong winds. Power outages and tree damage will be possible if these wind speeds are realized. While the models have been very consistent in showing these wind speeds, there are still uncertainties, so continue to monitor the forecast.

Along with the wind will come precipitation. Most of this will fall as rain, but it may start as a little snow. Early rainfall projections are for around an inch to fall. With temperatures also climbing into the mid 40s Tuesday night, we will likely also lose much of the current snow.

This could lead to a flooding threat, so that is another thing to keep an eye on. The flooding threat will be greater to our east, especially over New England, where 2-3 inches of rain may fall on top of even greater snow amounts.

finger lakes weather snow map saturday january 6 2024
The snow forecast for snow amounts through 7 AM Sunday. While this almost perfectly verified, choosing to cut off the time at 7 AM was a poor choice. This map was made live on video Friday evening.

Quick Reactions to the Snow Forecast

All throughout a weather event, I am making mental notes about how the event is unfolding compared to how I forecasted it. Here are a few quick mental notes on our snow event so far:

  • The snow started much earlier than the models indicated on Saturday. This was a point I predicted and especially stressed. This correct prediction reinforces my confidence in the model bias and I will continue to forecast precipitation arriving early in future, similar storms.
  • A dry slot reduced snowfall rates or ended the snow all together during the second half of the evening. While less vocal about this point, I did mention it on video during the process of putting together my snow map and used it to justify lower snow amounts. This was another correct point and reinforces the need to watch for patterns indicating dry slots, even when the models miss them.
  • Snow amounts through about 7 AM matched up very well to my snow map. Almost every report I have gotten so far has been in the 4-8 inch range, which I had shaded almost the entire FLX region in. I did get a couple of isolated reports just over 8 inches, all within the “locally 8”+ zone” on my map.
  • However, choosing 7 AM for a cutoff time on the map was a poor choice, with widespread moderate to heavy snow ongoing at the time. I was hoping to capture the dual-phase nature of the storm and also had been underplaying the additional snow from the second part of the storm when I made the map. Ideally, I should have either made one map for both phases, or a Phase 1 map through Midnight, and a Phase 2 map separate. I am also becoming increasingly aware of a bias I have to focus more on the first phases of storms and not give the second phases their due. Noted for next time.
  • I have received countless reports throughout the duration of the snow. These have been extremely helpful in my analysis of the storm and my forecast. I have replied directly to many of the comments, but for those I haven’t gotten to… know they are greatly appreciated!
  • I have also received a number of donations. These are extremely helpful and very much appreciated. If you have found my forecasts helpful and accurate, please consider a donation to help this service continue. Donations are my primary source of funding and allow me to spend hours upon hours forecasting, monitoring, updating, and answering questions. Monthly donations are especially appreciated! Business sponsors are also needed and represent a great local advertising opportunity! Thank you!

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast sun jan 7 | sun, snow gradually winds down mid 30 | mon, mostly cloudy mid 30 | tues, high winds, rain late upper 30 | wed, rain and snow showers near 40 | thur, rain and snow showers upper 30 | fri, late rain, starting as snow upper 30 | sat, snow showers upper 30
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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.

7 Responses

  1. Lori

    I appreciate your effort and reflectiveness!

  2. Pat

    8 inches in Jamesville and still snowing, lightly but continuing.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you!

  3. Lance Sprague

    Thanks Drew, as usual you were and are spot on, I encourage everyone to make a monthly donation, imagine if 1000 people gave $10 per month.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you for the support, Lance!

  4. Ted

    Drew, as usual your forecast was right on.

    Your wind section this morning does not say from which direction the wind is coming from. S N E W or in-between.

    Happy new year. Ted.

    You do remember that the Atwater Webcam is still active under the new owner.
    Address is:


    Then scroll down.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thanks for pointing that out. Tuesday’s winds will be from the southeast. I’ve added that to the text.