It is looking more and more likely that a significant winter storm will impact the area this weekend with heavy snow, wind, and, bitterly cold air.
It is still three days out, but the concensus among weather guidance is that western New York, including the Rochester area and Finger Lakes will be at least somewhat impacted by an impressive winter storm.
Snow: Light snow will begin to fall in our area by early Saturday afternoon. The intensity will pick up through the evening hours, and will be heaviest overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. While the storm pulls away on Sunday allowing the “system snow” to taper, lake effects courtesy of Lake Ontario will allow for some “homegrown snow” to fall in Rochester owing to a persistent north and northeasterly wind flow. This is why we should expect snow to continue into Sunday evening, and possibly even Monday morning. This setup will mean additional accumulations on top of what falls from the storm itself.
Wind: Winds will begin to pick up out of the southeast, then change to northeast. This will draw down frigid arctic air, dropping our temperatures from the 20s Friday night into the teens on Saturday, and likely single digits later Sunday. On top of that, wind chills will be well below zero.
So, as we see it now, Sunday will be a brutal day across the area with gusty winds, heavy snow early, and bitterly cold air
As of Wednesday morning, *SOME* well regarded model guidance shows a storm track further to the south, which ist *LESS* favorable for a “blockbuster snowfall” here in Rochester. That said, this represents only ONE model run cycle. Changes to the forecasted storm track are *INEVITABLE*, as we are still three days out from the beginning of the event, and thus, projected snowfall totals will change, as well. The system responsible for generating this winter storm won’t even arrive into California until later tomorrow morning. Once the system makes its way east of the Rockies the models should be able to resolve this system with increased precision.
The sure thing to know at this point is that while there still may be some changes to the track of the storm, the question isn’t whether or not you’ll have to shovel or plow, but rather how many times you’ll have clear the snow off the driveway this weekend!
As always, stay tuned for updates to the forecast.