First Defense: Lake Snow Continues This Afternoon, Significant Weekend Storm Possible

JAMESTOWN – Lake effect snow squalls will continue through the day with reduced visibility at times. We’ll sneak in one dry day before a series of Low pressure systems move through the region over the weekend. 

The National Weather Service maintains the Winter Advisory for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties until 6 p.m. this evening. Bands of light to moderate lake snow in combination wind gusty winds could create hazardous driving conditions through the early evening.

After an intense lake snow squall moved through the Southern Tier this morning, a very brief break occurred across the western most areas before more lake snow bands generated before noon today. As of 2:15 p.m. First Defense Doppler Radar depicts several snow squalls extending off of the lake and into the Southern Tier with a westerly wind.

Highs for today have already occurred in the upper 20’s, slowing slipping back through the lower 20’s by the end of the day. Wind gusts could reach 35 MPH at times, which could create some limited blowing snow.

Additional snowfall through this afternoon will range 2 to 4 inches on the hills, 1 to 3 along the lower elevations, to an inch or less further to the south and near the imitate Lake Erie shoreline.

Any leftover lake snow showers cut out during the evening hours tonight, leading to partly to mostly cloudy skies overnight but cold. Morning lows will range 9 in the valleys to 16 at the Lake Erie shoreline. Wind chills early could be sub-zero for a period before the wind settles down late.

After a cold start to the day on Thursday, some clouds will mix in with the sun with highs 31 to 38 and a light wind.

Our attention will then turn towards the weekend. As we’ve been discussing, a front will stall out over Western and Central New York on Friday, allowing for several waves of Low pressure to moves through the region.

Friday will be soaker with widespread rain through the day and highs near 50. The wind will also come up as well, maybe gusting to 40 MPH at times. While there is still room for this to change, the current guidance suggests maybe half an inch to three quarters of an inch of rainfall on Friday, possibly exceeding one inch.

The next wave on Saturday will shoot temperatures well into the upper 50’s, maybe some lower 60’s possible near the shoreline and the lower elevations, with widespread rain continuing through the day. Temperatures will come tumbling down later in the day as colder air is allowed sag a bit further southwards and into the region. It is here where some of the unknowns come into play.

Depending on the exact track of this Low, either to our south or to our north, Saturday night into Sunday is a bit of a tricky situation. With the colder air riding so close to the area, if the Low tracks to our south, that ice line will likely come a bit more south with it and we’ll possibly introduce the chance for sleet and freezing rain into the day on Sunday. While we do believe that the heaviest amounts icing will stay well to our north given the current profiles, some limited freezing rain is not ruled out as a possibly should this idea verify.

If the storm favors a northerly track, there will be more warmer air across the Southern Tier with precipitation falling as rain before changing to wet snow later in the day on Sunday as the colder air finally catches up with us.

No matter which track the storm takes, it has the potential to be a high impact event in regards to flooding from excess rainfall or slippery travel due to limited ice accretion. We will continue to get better quality data in through the rest of the week and we’ll keep you updated with the latest.

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