On this morning’s weather map, high pressure extends from southern Canada, Mid-Atlantic coast to well off the Southeast shoreline. To the west and south, a strong area of low pressure is centered near St. Louis, MO. Extending east from the storms center is a warm front, the leading edge to warmer air, with a cold front stretching south of the low center.
By early evening, the low is forecast to be positioned just east and south of Chicago, IL. In response to that, morning sun will fade behind increasing afternoon clouds. Though in spite of the increase of cloud cover, we’re expecting dry weather to rule during the daylight hours…however…that will change tonight.
As the low continues to track northeast, it will eventually bring rain into the region as southeast winds increase to 15-30 mph. It should be noted that stronger wind speeds are likely over higher elevations; in fact wind gusts to 50 mph are possible above 1000-1500 feet. Additionally, higher elevations may see a bit of snow tonight, but it looks like much of CNY will well and truly need to wait until Friday to see the rain to snow changeover.
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 become the dominate low pressure and head up into northern New England this weekend. 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 looks to be Friday night and especially 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. Early indications point to the potential of several inches of snow this weekend. However, the higher elevations such as the Tug Hill and hills along/south of Rte. 20 may see the most snow. You’ll want to check back for updates as we continue to fine tune the forecast as details may change.