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Rainy weather arrives Christmas Eve...

A strong cold front will bring widespread heavy rain, wind, some snow, and an abrupt drop in temperature to our region Christmas Eve night.

Posted: Dec 21, 2020 10:38 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2020 10:43 PM

Happy first day of winter! Winter began officially at 5:02 am and it certainly looks like it in Central New York with a regionwide snowpack. The weather stays relatively quiet here for the next few days, with light snow chances tonight and tomorrow. A large storm system is expected to have a high impact on our local weather as we head into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Low pressure originating in the Pacific Northwest will head eastward across the Northern US over the next 1-2 days. By Thursday, the storm center will start lifting northwest of our area, bringing a strong south wind to Central New York. Temperatures are expected to climb well above freezing on Christmas Eve, with temperatures generally in the 40s for most of the day. The winds continue to increase, becoming strong Christmas Eve night as a cold front approaches our area. This cold front will bring widespread heavy rainfall (1-2") to our area along with a dramatic drop in temperature. Temperatures are expected to briefly hit 50 before the front moves through, with a 30-40 degree drop in temperature in 24 hours.

The combination of freezing temperatures, wet roads, and windy conditions will lead to a widespread flash freeze. This happens when standing water doesn't evaporate but rather freezes on untreated surfaces. The freeze looks to take place Christmas Eve night and the deep freeze arrives on Christmas Day. Expect temperatures to start out on Christmas Day in the low 30s and finish in the teens. Wind chill values are expected to fall into the single digits.

As far as snowfall, there will be a changeover to snow as the front departs Central New York. The timing of when this happens is unclear at this point, and that will determine if and how much accumulating snow falls in our area. The most likely chance of accumulating snow looks to be west of Utica, where the colder air will arrive sooner. We will update you with additional information as it becomes available.

Lake effect snow is expected to develop for Christmas Day across the Tug Hill region northward towards Watertown.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1279811

Reported Deaths: 41587
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1600187889
Kings1568738092
Suffolk1298042624
Nassau1160652581
Bronx1069555302
Westchester857231819
New York765463456
Erie524731390
Richmond455161388
Monroe44631780
Rockland32137817
Orange29078656
Onondaga27948535
Oneida16976352
Dutchess16963322
Albany16521260
Niagara12229248
Broome11255260
Saratoga937583
Schenectady8770128
Ulster7822196
Rensselaer6965106
Putnam657675
Chautauqua566064
Chemung5643108
Oswego496169
Ontario477082
Steuben4632131
Cayuga447471
Sullivan388749
Wayne372254
Genesee3689100
St. Lawrence368563
Herkimer368259
Cattaraugus342761
Jefferson327224
Madison317376
Livingston273742
Tompkins270724
Cortland266854
Columbia252472
Allegany237575
Montgomery226575
Tioga222854
Wyoming221244
Clinton220918
Fulton214053
Warren211942
Greene207860
Orleans194569
Chenango179544
Otsego173823
Washington154224
Lewis154024
Seneca123946
Franklin11649
Delaware102923
Essex98819
Schoharie9145
Yates83519
Schuyler72410
Hamilton1471
Unassigned53122
Out of NY0166
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