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January ends on a wintry note in the Finger Lakes

Camp Dittmer in Phelps was very peaceful this afternoon with the heavy snowfall. Photo by Patrick J. Costello.

It’s fair to say we’ve been spoiled this January.

Days and days spent above average, and some even spent, well-above average. It doesn’t mean that February will be a wintry mess, or that it will wreak havoc on the Finger Lakes — but more seasonable weather should be expected, according to the forecasters looking at the long-term.

According to FLX Weather Meteorologist Drew Montreuil, the pattern is going to be unsettled with more “wintry” weather expected.

Montreuil’s short-term outlook sets up like this:

“A weather system is passing through the Great Lakes today. Out ahead of the system, temperatures are starting Thursday well above normal yet again with many areas in the upper 30s and low 40s.

However, colder air is already flooding into the region aloft as the first in a set of two cold fronts presses east across the region. Temperatures will mostly hold steady throughout the day as the colder air counteracts the normal daytime heating cycle.

Later this afternoon, as the second front passes through, temperatures will start to drop towards the mid 30s. Once the sun sets, temperatures will fall back into the low 30s and upper 20s.

Rain and snow showers will move in from the northwest during the late morning hours and will overspread the Finger Lakes for much of the afternoon as the second front passes through.

Higher elevations will start to see snow first, while some of the lower elevations may primarily remain as rain until the evening hours. Accumulations should be limited to a coating to an inch over the higher elevations.”

After that, he notes that things will remain unsettled with the threat of lake effect snow looming almost every day for parts of the region:

“Behind this weather system, a major lake effect snow storm is expected to bury parts of southwest New York and the Tug Hill under feet of snow.

For most of the Finger Lakes, however, this lake effect event will be minor.

Periods of flurries and a few squalls will be possible from Lake Erie Friday and Saturday as winds primarily come from the west. Several inches of snow could fall across the far western portions of the region, while the higher elevations east of Cayuga Lake receive a couple of inches.

On Sunday, winds will turn towards the northwest, sending flurries and squalls from Lake Ontario into northern and eastern portions of the Finger Lakes. Several more inches could fall, mostly north of a Canandaigua-Penn Yan-Ithaca line. The lake effect will taper to lighter snows for early next week.”

Read more about Montreuil’s forecast here, and check out his extended temperature forecast, which is included at that link.

Also on FingerLakes1.com