High pressure centered over the Ohio Valley will control our weather tonight into the first part of the day tomorrow with generally clear weather. After that, things start to go downhill.
While much of Thursday will be rain-free, we will be watching clouds increase ahead of a strengthening area of low pressure tracking from the Ohio Valley into the Great Lakes with a cold front stretching south from the low into the Deep South. The counter-clockwise winds around this low will mean a southeasterly flow will develop over us. That keeps on the mild side of this storm system to start. We expect rain to arrive after sunset tomorrow, and continue Thursday night as a cold front sweeps from west to east across the state. Those southeasterly winds will get rather strong Thursday night, especially over higher elevations.
By Friday morning, a second area of low pressure will try to form along the front to the southeast of Central New York. This is where the forecast gets a bit tricky. How quickly this storm forms and draws colder into the region will determine whether we can change rain to snow soon enough to get some snow to accumulate. If it is going to happen it would have to happen during the first part of the day before drier air temporarily builds in during the afternoon.
The second low will head up into northern New England Friday night where it will slow down. The northwest winds on the backside of this low will pick up Friday night and continue into Saturday. With cold and moist air circulating around the storm and over Lake Ontario, our best potential chance for accumulating snow in Central New York comes Friday night and into Saturday. Additionally, the potentially strong wind will make for lower wind chill temperatures and even blowing snow.
With this complex system winding up this weekend, it looks like we are about to receive our first meaningful and impactful winter weather of the season…just in time as we officially welcome the start of winter on Friday. Be sure to check back for updates as we continue to fine tune the forecast as details may change.