Bitterly cold air will have a firm grip on Central New York for the next 24-48 hours. Consequently, high temperatures will stay in the single digits today with wind chill temperatures below zero. Additionally, the cold air flowing over Lake Ontario will continue to produce lighter lake effect snow through this afternoon. However, while the snow will be persistent, it won’t be anywhere near as intense as yesterday. This is because winds are a bit more northwesterly, so the cold air is crossing less water or lake (this is called fetch, or distance across water). Also, the northwesterly winds are drawing in much drier air from the north, so that has led to further weakening. Additionally, winds are becoming lighter, so that will cause the lake snows to contract closer to the shoreline of Lake Ontario as the day unfolds.
Most areas affect by lake effect snow will see light snowfall today of a coating to 2”, but locally higher amounts are possible right along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Wayne and northern Cayuga and even southwest Oswego counties, where localized new snow amounts could be in the 2-5” range. Again, for many of us, the big weather story will be the cold.
Later tonight there are indications a small low, called a meso-low (this feature sometimes can look like a mini comma or even resemble a very small hurricane – but it does NOT have hurricane conditions!) may come off Lake Ontario and affect parts of CNY. If you’ll recall, Storm Team Meteorologist Jim Teske discussed a very similar feature Monday evening on the Storm Team Facebook page. At any rate, the upshot of it all, is that this neat looking small feature may very will bring a relatively brief period of heavy snow for areas along and west of I-81 very late tonight early tomorrow morning.
Expect very cold air to persist tomorrow with some lake effect snow showers and flurries possible. By Friday, two areas of low pressure, one to our south and one farther north, will move east. The southern system and the one that has more moisture, looks to stay south of the region while the northern system, one with less moisture, looks to impact the region with some light snow showers. After a chilly Saturday, temperatures look to begin to moderate Sunday and especially early next week.