I hope you had the chance to enjoy the mild early December weather we've had this weekend. We're expecting one more above average day Tuesday before a blast of cold weather returns for the remainder of the week. The cold weather is expected to persist for the foreseeable future.
A storm system is responsible for starting the process of this pattern change. A surge of warm air ahead of a cold front will allow temperatures to climb into the 50s Tuesday afternoon and evening. The cold front arrives Tuesday evening and brings a round of rain and wind to the region, followed by much colder weather. Temperatures will fall below freezing by Wednesday morning.
Here's where things get interesting. Conditions are looking extremely favorable for lake effect snow. Lake temperatures are still in the mid 40s and the air mass arriving will be in the 30s during the day and teens at night! However, the prevailing wind direction is primarily southwest. This means the favorable areas for lake effect snow will be Watertown and Buffalo and not Central New York. The NWS in Buffalo has a winter storm watch for the potential of significant lake effect snow in these areas:
We're not entirely on the sideline from snow here. We're watching for the potential of light snow in our region from Lake Erie. Traditionally, the snow from Lake Erie is light in our region, because we are much farther away from Erie compared to Ontario.
Here's an estimate of snowfall for the upcoming event. Up to 1-2 feet of snow is expected to fall in the Watertown region:
There will be a better chance for seeing snow locally over the weekend, as a weak area of low pressure swings through the region. Stay tuned.