On the midday weather map, low pressure is positioned just west of Chicago with a warm front snaking east from its center and a cold front extending west from the low center. By early evening, the low should be centered just west of Toronto with the warm front extending east north of Lake Ontario and east-southeast along the Mohawk River Valley.
Milder air is quickly spreading east into central New York. As of late morning, a wintry mix already extended east of Syracuse. In most areas, this mix should change to just plain rain or drizzle by early afternoon and at that point there will be no travel issues on the roads. East, and especially northeast, the cold air will hold on longer so freezing rain may linger in these areas. Precipitation will be light and spotty so any icing would also be light.
As the storm system move east tonight, cooler air may very briefly move southeast later tonight. This may result in spotty showers or drizzle to end as some freezing drizzle late tonight, especially north and northeast of Syracuse after midnight. Thereafter, a digging upper trough (low pressure) over the mid-section of the country will pump unseasonably mild air into the region as winds at all levels of the atmosphere turn into the south and southwest. Temperatures will rise into the 40s tomorrow, though we may have wait until late day to realize our maximum temperatures. While showers are in the forecast, it’s most likely they will fall later in the day.
Winds are forecast to intensity significantly Tuesday night and Wednesday, perhaps reaching 80-100 mph at 5000-6000 feet aloft for a time Wednesday. This will import even warmer air, perhaps record warmth, into the region Wednesday as highs rise well into the 50s. It will also make for a windy day (although not as strong as those winds we mentioned aloft). The record Wednesday’s date is 54° set in 2006 and is in jeopardy of falling. Showers will arrive sometime Wednesday afternoon as a cold front closes in on the region.
Much colder air will arrive Thursday and Friday on the heels of west winds. With a cold and moist air mass moving over the Great Lakes, heavier lake effect snow may fall. The question is exactly where. Some computer models suggest areas well north of Syracuse from the Tug Hill to Watertown will have the greatest risk for heavy lake effect snow. However, other reliable computer models suggest more of a west-northwest flow which would put heavier lake snow farther south, perhaps even closer to the Syracuse area. Below average temperatures look to remain in the region through to the upcoming weekend.