The low pressure system that brought a wintry mix to the area yesterday is now to our northeast, and is providing for strong west winds across Lake Ontario. With lots of moisture in the atmosphere and cold temperatures, heavy lake effect will be the story for areas east of Lake Ontario, especially the Tug Hill. Snowfall of more than half a foot has fallen over parts of Oswego County so far this morning. The intense snow will likely continue in a narrow band over parts of Oswego, Lewis and northern Oneida counties through the early part of the afternoon. Additional snowfall in these areas will range from 3-8” in the most persistent snows.
The squalls off Lake Ontario won’t stay north of Syracuse all afternoon. As the aforementioned low pressure moves eastward, winds for Central New York will become northwesterly. That will take the squalls and move them south toward the Syracuse area later this afternoon. While they will weaken quite a bit when they move south, the squalls will still be capable of putting down an additional accumulation overnight tonight.
One more note about today: the winds will be strong. The parent storm down at the ground (not in the upper atmosphere we mentioned above) will be moving into Canada and the difference in pressure between this deep low and high pressure back over the Midwest will cause our winds to gust past 30 mph during the day. With a high only in the mid 20’s, these strong winds will cause wind chills to be between 0 and 10 degrees today.
Our wind flow is forecast to remain out of the northwest tonight into Thursday. While the set up is not favorable for big snows, the persistent nature of the wind flow alone in and around the Syracuse area will mean additional accumulations are expected. Once the lake effect ends later Thursday it will just remain chilly by late February standards.
A whole new storm system is forecast to pull out of the middle part of the country for the end of the week, but it will be weakening as it does. At this point any rain or wet snow that moves in from this system starting late Friday into Saturday will be fairly light in nature. Temperatures will moderate, too, for the weekend with highs in the 30s.