We are enjoying record warm this January 30th. Syracuse was already at 60 at 11 am meaning we have broken the record high of 54 set back in 2006. The warmth, however, won’t last long.
A very complex frontal system will begin to impact us this afternoon bring us rain and wind. As one main area of low pressure forms and strengthens along a cold front to our west, winds over central New York will increase. This is due to an increasing pressure gradient (change in air pressure over distance) as the weather system to the west gets closer to Central New York. It’s projected that wind speeds will reach 70 mph or greater 3000-5000 feet above the ground during the afternoon. While these kinds of wind speeds won’t be felt down at ground level, it will be a rather windy afternoon across all of central New York with gusts past 30 mph. However, over the hilltops (closer to the core of strongest winds) there could be wind gusts past 50 mph during the day. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory from 6pm tonight to 1pm tomorrow for Western and Central New York with winds gusting up to 55 mph.
The warmth will be short-lived, however, as that strong cold front sweeps through Central New York Wednesday evening. There will likely be a period of steadier, heavier rain as it moves through the area. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2” could fall in a short period of time. As a result, a Flood Watch for most of Central New York remains in effect for tonight and tomorrow. Along with the rain, the winds will get quite gusty, even over the lower elevations. A chance of thunderstorms can’t be ruled out. Once the cold front passes, much colder air will surge into the region tomorrow with falling temperatures throughout the day.
With a cold and moist air mass moving over the Great Lakes Thursday, heavier lake effect snow will fall. This is the cause for a Lake Effect Snow Watch is in effect for Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, and northern Oneida counties for Thursday afternoon through Friday night. For the rest of central New York it will just be a blustery and colder day Thursday with flurries. Computer models suggest that winds will become more northwesterly thus bringing lake effect snow to the Syracuse area for the Friday morning commute. Chilly temperatures and the threat for snow showers will persist into the upcoming weekend.