Strong winds, heavy rain, and nighttime snow

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday april 3 2024 heavy rain high winds snow
Heavy rain and strong winds today will lead into mixed precipitation types tonight through Saturday. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Active Weather Wednesday

A strong low pressure system is stalled out over Lake Michigan this morning while a second low is beginning to take shape over the Mid-Atlantic region.

Areas of widespread rain between these lows have been intermittently moving through the Finger Lakes since yesterday and will continue to do so today.

Early this morning, the precipitation has turned showery between batches, but steady moderate to heavy rain is moving north through Pennsylvania and will overspread our area by mid-morning.

Downpours embedded within the larger area of rain are likely and may begin to result in some small stream and poor drainage flooding. Larger streams and rivers will also rise, and some may reach minor flood stage.

The rain will probably begin to taper off somewhat in the second half of the afternoon, but is unlikely to end completely as the second low rapidly strengthens along the Mid-Atlantic coast.

It will also be windy this morning and early afternoon, with southeast winds gusting between 35-45 mph for many areas. A few isolated gusts to 50 mph are not out of the question, especially as a cold front moves through this afternoon. Wind speeds will drop sharply behind this front with light winds this evening and overnight.

Temperatures will stick to the low and mid 40s for most of the day but will begin to drop late. By sunset, many areas will be in the upper 30s to near 40 degrees. Sleet and snow may begin to mix in with the rain as temperatures aloft cool faster.

Rain, snow, and some areas of sleet will continue through the evening and overnight, though most of the precipitation should lift north of the region between midnight and dawn Thursday.

There is poor agreement among the models about the precipitation type, but even the more aggressive wintry solutions have only minor snow accumulations across the Finger Lakes, mainly in the higher elevations.

Temperatures tonight are expected to remain above freezing for all but a few cold pockets across the Southern Tier and Central New York. Road conditions, therefore, should remain mostly just wet throughout the night and into early Thursday.

Even though the roads may remain mostly clear this evening and overnight, the precipitation may still come down hard at times, reducing visibility and leading to brief slick spots here and there. Allow for some extra travel time, just in case.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wed apr 3 | wed, heavy rain and wind mid 40 | thur, rain and snow showers low 40 | fri, rain and snow showers near 40 | sat, rain and snow showers low 40 | sun, mostly sunny near 50 | mon, sun and clouds upper 50 | tues, mostly sunny low 60
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Unsettled Into the Weekend

The coastal low will move to a position along the coast of New England on Thursday and then stall out. This will keep our weather unsettled until high pressure kicks this system out to sea on Sunday.

Throughout this time period of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, precipitation types will be variable and will likely go back and forth between rain and snow.

Given that it is April, it will be difficult for snow to fall during the daytime hours. Even if it does, it will not be able to accumulate with daily high temperatures sticking near or above 40 degrees. Much of the time, the precipitation will remain rain.

At night, there will be a better chance for snow. Again, though, temperatures will mainly be above freezing, so accumulations will be highly limited.

The precipitation during this time period will mainly be light and showery, though dry time may be highly limited. Areas of fog and drizzle may also stick around, especially at night and over higher elevations.

As high pressure moves in on Sunday, skies will clear and temperatures will rise. Look for highs around 50 degrees on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the forecast for the eclipse on Monday is trending in the wrong direction. A small impulse of atmospheric energy may be passing through, leading to an increase in clouds and perhaps even a few stray showers.

It does not look like a completely cloudy day, and we are still quite a way out, so there is time for this trend to reverse as the strength and timing of this small system becomes more clear.

Behind this energy, another fully sunny day is expected on Tuesday with highs breaking into the 60s. Warm weather will persist throughout next week, with the next significant weather maker looking like it will roll into the area late in the week.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wed apr 3 | wed, heavy rain and wind mid 40 | thur, rain and snow showers low 40 | fri, rain and snow showers near 40 | sat, rain and snow showers low 40 | sun, mostly sunny near 50 | mon, sun and clouds upper 50 | tues, mostly sunny low 60
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.

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