A Major Winter Storm to Impact Central New York Wednesday Night and Thursday
Low pressure is located over Louisiana this evening and is bringing a wide variety of weather to the Deep South. Severe thunderstorms have raked parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi while blizzard conditions rage across parts of the southern Plains. This area of low pressure will track north over the next 24 hours but by tomorrow evening it will start to weaken as a new low forms near the mid Atlantic states. From this point, the second will strengthen and head along the Northeast coast through Thursday.
We will see the effects from this storm during tomorrow as clouds increase over us. However, during the daylight it looks like all of central New York will stay dry. Things will change tomorrow night.
As our coastal storm strengthens, the counterclockwise winds around this storm will circulate plenty of Atlantic Ocean moisture back into central New York. This will cause snow to fall, heavy at times, with snowfall rates Wednesday night approaching 2 inches per hour. In addition to the snow, the wind will be gusty and over higher elevations, in particular, there could be wind gusts past 30 mph. Needless to say, travel tomorrow night will be treacherous over all of central New York.
The peak of our storm will be tomorrow night. Even though the snow will continue through the day Thursday, the intensity of the snowfall will drop throughout the day. Total snow accumulations through late in the day could approach a foot and a half over the Finger Lakes up toward Oswego County and Watertown. Here in Syracuse, there are still some questions as to how much snow will fall, but we feel fairly confident of 8-12” Because of the threat for some sleet mixing we have even lower accumulations (4-8”) over parts of Chenango, Madison and Oneida counties. If the sleet doesn’t materialize in these counties, snowfall will be higher.
Our weather quiets down on Friday but then we watch a new area of low pressure heading toward the East Coast. The computer models we look at today are either a) weaker with this low or b) farther east off the coast than in past days. That minimizes the possibility of a significant snow here in central New York this weekend but we’ll keep a close eye on things over the next few days.