Northwest winds are the driving force of our weather in central New York today for two reasons: 1. They will allow lake effect snow to continue through the morning, and 2. Gusts will bring a biting chill to the air- many will feel as if temperatures are in the single digits.
We continue to watch a low pressure system departing to the northeast, deepening, or strengthening, as it goes. This strengthening will help wrap around a bit of moisture in from the northwest, helping to fuel the lake effect snow showers. However, high pressure will quickly cut off snow by this afternoon. As the high starts to push in, the pressure gradient will increase. This means we should see wind speeds increasing into Sunday afternoon. Expect gusts upwards of 25mph, causing blowing and drifting of the snow on the ground.
With the winds coming in from the northwest, they will be bringing in colder air, keeping the thermometer in the low to mid 20s. When you add the strong gusts, wind chills may feel close to 10°! The colder air will likely trigger lake effect snow showers, though at this time significant snowfall is not anticipated.
Looking ahead toward the end of 2012 and start of 2013, snow showers are in the forecast as an arctic cold front looks to move into the region. Were this to materialize, then a shot of cold air would be here by New Year’s Day as well as the threat for lake effect snow showers.