Sunrise Smart Start: Thursday, December 24

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Good morning, Rochester. Stay up-to-date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Thursday, Christmas Eve.

8 years later, memories of West Webster Christmas Eve tragedy endure

Thursday marks the eighth anniversary of the tragic shooting and fire in West Webster, which took place on Christmas Eve in 2012.

It resulted in the death of two firefighters: Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19.

String of armed robberies ends with suspect shot at corner store in Rochester

 A string of armed convenience store robberies that started in Victor ended on Thurston Road in Rochester Wednesday night, when an employee of Angelo’s Grocery Store shot the suspect.

That’s according to Rochester police, who say the suspect — a 25-year-old Rochester man — is in custody.

Monroe County surpasses 500 COVID-19 deaths, 576 new cases, 816 hospitalized

There have now been more than 500 COVID-19 deaths to date locally.

Monroe County Department of Public Health officials reported 19 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, bringing the to-date total to 507.

Dr. Mendoza, local health officials: ‘We need your help to slow the spread’

The health commissioner said that the vaccine’s arrival locally doesn’t mean people can let their guard down, especially at a social time of the year.

URMC’s Chief Medical Officer said the spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations locally is leaving the health systems under pressure.

Lawmakers react to president’s demand for $2,000 stimulus checks

Lawmakers are responding to a video posted by the White House Tuesday night in which President Donald Trump attacked Congress over the COVID-19 relief bill passed this week.

“That additional money will make a huge difference,” Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said.

He says he agrees that Americans need more stimulus money. He just wishes the president had said something sooner.

Gov. Cuomo: State is reviewing Buffalo Bills plan for 6,700 fans attending playoff game

The governor said the Buffalo Bills have submitted a proposal to allow 6,700 fans attend their upcoming playoff game.

“Can you reopen venues using vaccinated people? We’re not there yet, but can you reopen venues with rapid testing? We’re exploring some options,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Buffalo Bills proposed 6,700 fans for their upcoming playoff game. The New York State Department of Health is working on a model where fans get tested on the way in, and contact traced after to see what the effect is.”

The governor said the state will review the plan before the playoff game, which is still a few weeks away.

Weather forecast: Turning wet and a bit messy for Christmas Eve

TODAY: Our well advertised storm system is on track to generate some inclement weather for this Christmas Eve that lasts right into Christmas Day. . Expect rain to gradually spread across the area from west to east by midday and into this afternoon accompanied by a mild, southerly breeze. Temperatures will even make a run just beyond 50 degrees with the rain turning heavy at times during through the evening. A half inch to one inch of rainfall is possible through tonight .

CHRISTMAS EVE: Now let’s talk what comes after all this rain… our brief period of mild air won’t last too much longer as a powerful cold front sweeps through the viewing area somewhere around Thursday night. This will result in rapidly falling temperatures creating a “flash freeze”. Even with much uncertainty remaining between some models, it looks likely the transition from rain to snow won’t be so black and white. A brief period of sleet mixed with some freezing rain will be possible as temperatures make their transition from the 40s into the low 30s by Friday morning. This will create slick spots for many, and especially areas south of Rochester where freezing rain accumulations could be higher making any traveling done during this time tricky to say the least.

With moisture still leftover and an ample amount of cold air to follow, expect a period of accumulating snow to fall after this transition overnight into Friday morning. Those who absolutely have to be on the roads should know that it’s looking more and more likely that the combination of changing precipitation types and dropping temperatures will make travel a bit tricky. Even after all the rain, our burst of snow should whiten the ground here in Rochester by sunrise Christmas Day. This will mean a “White Christmas” for some (Think primarily west of Rochester) and, for others, well….they’re “just dreaming”.


For a select few, the soaking rain all night long may keep your grass more green than white for areas east of Rochester, but that will likely change as lake effect snow kicks in throughout the day. How white a Christmas we get initially will also heavily depend on the timing of our changeover from rain to snow. Will it be quick? Will it take some time to see flakes fly and accumulate? These are questions still on the table.

Flurries and lake-effect snow showers will then occur during the day on Friday with the bulk of the snow falling initially right after the rain/mix. During the afternoon the system breaks apart, leaving periods of drier skies as a more significant lake effect snow event sets up for areas east of Lakes Erie and Ontario. Significant accumulations for those areas are anticipated into Saturday, hence the Lake Effect Snow Warnings in place for Genesee and Wyoming counties. Those around Rochester and the Finger Lakes will see a nuisance few inches. Lake effect flakes will linger into Saturday and temperatures hold their chill into the weekend.

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