Snow! The cold front that moved through the area over the weekend brought rain to the city and snow to higher elevations north of us. Places in Orange County and along the Taconic Range in Dutchess County saw up to five inches yesterday. More snow is in store for today but this is lake effect snow, not from a front.
A deep low pressure system is centered just north of Vermont today. It is sitting under a cut-off upper level low so the storm isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As a result, lots of cold air is blowing across the warm Great Lakes and toward the city. Cold air blowing over a warm lake is the formula for lots of lake effect snow. One to two feet of snow has already fallen from the Tug Hill Plateau east of Lake Ontario, down through Syracuse and Binghamton and west to Rochester. Another foot or more is possible today in persistent squall areas.
We don't usually get lake effect snow in the city, the moisture that produces that snow doesn't get high enough in the atmosphere to survive the trip over the Catskills and 'Gunks. However, the combination of a very warm lake, 52 degrees off Rochester, and a strong northwesterly wind is just right for giving us a few flakes today. Along with the flurries it is kind of brutal out there today. A northwesterly wind at 20-30 mph will keep the wind chills in the mid 20s this afternoon.
The sun is going to try and come out tomorrow but Tuesday will still be windy and raw with a high in the lower 40s and wind chills remaining in the 20s. Wednesday looks to be the most pleasant day of the week as the wind will finally die down, the sun will return, and we should have a high in the mid 40s.
For Thanksgiving Day and the long holiday weekend the weather is expected to be pretty blah. It looks like a series of weak disturbances will pass through the area, giving us several cloudy, drizzly days but at least the temperatures will return to near normal, with highs eventually climbing to the lower 50s.