On the midday weather map, low pressure is centered near Sault St.Marie, Michigan with a cold front extending south from its center, through Cleveland and down to the Gulf Coast. This weather system will impact our weather, in one way or another, over the next couple of days.
Initially, as the cold front approaches the region from the west we will experience a period of rain and wet snow. The best chance for snow will come over higher elevations where temperatures will be a bit cooler but even in these areas we expect temperatures will stay above freezing. Consequently, even where snow does fall, only an inch or two of accumulation may fall. This would be well north and east of Syracuse (toward the Tug Hill) and perhaps over the hilltops to the south of the city.
Once the cold front passes to our east this evening, colder air will filter back into Central New York, changing any leftover rain/snow to all snow before ending. Even colder air will eventually arrive Wednesday on the heels of brisk west winds. The combination of cold westerly winds moving over Lake Ontario and larger scale moisture wrapping around the aforementioned storm, which is forecast to well north of Montreal by early tomorrow, will mean heavier lake effect snow for the areas north of Syracuse and east of Lake Ontario. Consequently, Lake Effect Snow Warnings have been hoisted for Oswego, Lewis, Jefferson counties for tonight and tomorrow.
Lake effect snow should get going tonight as the air continues to cool. Again, any significant accumulations tonight will be confined to areas north of Syracuse and east of Lake Ontario. Lake effect snow will continue in the aforementioned areas tomorrow morning and winds increase to 15-30 mph. The combination of heavy snow and brisk winds creating blowing snow means whiteout conditions at times. Winds will eventually shift into the northwest tomorrow afternoon, resulting in a southward shift with the lake effect snow. Additional accumulations are likely tomorrow, especially north of Syracuse, although, even areas southeast of Lake Ontario (including the Syracuse area) should have some accumulation.
Our wind flow is forecast to remain out of the northwest Wednesday night into Thursday. That means weakened lake effect will be persistent in and around the Syracuse area with additional accumulation 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.