The end of the deep freeze

Bitter cold weather will be replaced by a significant thaw.

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 7:01 PM

The headlines are almost done with the cold. Our major freeze is coming to an end on Friday. We do expect two more sub zero nights ahead (tonight and Friday night) before the cold wave ends Saturday. While we didn't break any records, we did see some teeth chattering wind chills.

Since Tuesday, other parts of the state have been hit hard with wind and snow. Buffalo experienced a true blizzard on Wednesday, with 40-50mph winds and zero visibility for several hours. Traffic bans were implemented and the city shut down. Today, Watertown has taken the brunt of lake effect snow. Plows aren't able to keep up with the snow and we've gotten more reports of whiteouts and heavy accumulation. The last report out of South Watertown was 26.8" of snow today and counting.

We have been spared the brunt of this epic lake effect event and will continue to miss out on the heavy snowfall. The winds will stay west-southwesterly tonight, keeping the accumulations between Watertown and the Tug Hill.

Going forward, the polar vortex retreats north and looks to stay out of our region for now. The weather behind this major cold spell comes directly from the Pacific, which is not good news if you love snow. A transition in temperature takes place on Saturday, with widespread light snow and highs in the 20s. Quiet on SuperBowl Sunday, with highs in the 30s.

The thaw begins on Monday. Temperatures soar into the mid 40s. This will likely cause significant snow melt and potential ice jams. We want to note that ice jams are extremely difficult to predict. Even though conditions look like they heavily favor jams, it's not a guarantee. We'll have another look at that early next week.

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