On this morning’s weather map, a cold front extends from the NY/Quebec boarder south through Central New York and southwest through the Tennessee Valley with high pressure centered over North Dakota. Along and ahead of this cold front, showers are common with much colder air evident behind the front along with strong west winds.
Expect rain showers early this morning to end as scattered flurries and snow showers as the cold front moves east and away from Central New York. Winds will increase significantly this afternoon from the west with wind gusts past 40 mph likely. The strong west winds will import unseasonably cold air into the region as temperatures fall to near 30 degrees by sunset.
The cold air moving over Lake Ontario will produce lake effect snow showers and even some heavier snow squalls. With winds forecast to blow from the west and west-northwest, lake effect snow will be confined to areas chiefly north of the Thruway. Consequently, Lake Effect Snow Watches have been hoisted for the counties north of Onondaga. Because we are in April, it’s quite likely that accumulating snow will need to occur during the overnight and early morning hours as that are when the impact from the April sun will be non-existent or minimal.
This time of year during the afternoon hours, the sun will have a rather substantial and negative impact on the both the lake effect snow band and the ability for the snow to stick to the ground. Still, several inches of spring snow may fall over the next couple of days, particularly higher elevations. Outside of lake effect snow, windy and unseasonably cold temperatures will be the rule as high temperatures will be some 10-15 degrees below normal.
The best chance for snow showers in the immediate Central New York area looks to be later Tuesday night into early Wednesday as winds shift into the northwest. Later in the week, high pressure will build into the region as milder air arrives and puts an end to any lake effect snow. Expect high temperatures to reach close to 50 degrees Thursday and Friday…and even the weekend, though rain showers will be possible by Sunday.