Enjoy warm days ahead; cold, snow to return before weekend
Southerly winds will bring a balmy — but wet — couple of days to the region, with near record highs forecast for Wednesday, but you better enjoy it while it’s here. Unseasonably cold temperatures and snow are expected to return by the end of the week.
The warm air, along with a chance for rain showers will continue into Wednesday with the cold front crossing the region Wednesday night.
Forecast highs for Batavia and Geneseo are near 60 degrees for Wednesday. The area’s all-time high temperature for Jan. 29 is 59 degrees, a mark both Buffalo and Rochester reached in 1914, according to the National Weather Service.
Normal high temperatures for this time of year are 32 degrees in Rochester and 31 in Buffalo, according to Weather Service data.
A deepening low pressure located over the Central Plains will track north into the Upper Midwest through today. The system’s warm front will lift north across New york as its center tracks to the Upper Midwest. This will bring a period of rain showers along with a slight chance for a rumble of thunder. Most of the shower activity will pass north of the lower lakes but forecast models suggest most areas should pick up a few hundredths of an inch of rain to maybe a quarter of an inch at best, the Weather Service said.
Lightning has been observed to the west over Central Michigan and western Lake Erie, the Weather Service said.
A deep layered southerly flow behind the warm front east of the low pressure system will allow temperatures to moderate well into the 40s across most of the area today with lower 50s possible across parts of Western New York along the Lake Erie shoreline and into the Genesee Valley.
As the front passes through tonight, expect fairy gusty southwest winds overnight gusting to around 30 mph or so. The winds should prevent fog, but the higher winds may wind up reaching to wind advisory criteria by late tonight especially in Western New York, the Weather Service said.
Temperatures will remain mild overnight and likely not fall much from daytime highs.
Wednesday morning could see 50s or warmer possible in many locations, with temperatures possibly reaching record warmth across the area. The Weather Service is calling for mid to upper 50s across most areas, with the Niagara Frontier pushing 60 degrees.
The very balmy day could also be muggy as the warm and moist southerly flow comes through, the Weather Service said.
There is a possibility the wind gusts on Wednesday could reach a level that prompts an advisory, but forecaster confidence is not especially high for this.
While Wednesday should start out dry, the weather will rapidly deteriorate by afternoon, however, the Weather Service said.
A strong pre-frontal band of precipitation will push across the area from the west which could bring a period of moderate to heavy rainfall before quickly tapering off. Deep cold moves into the region Wednesday night, with dramatic temperature drops into the upper 20s by Thursday, the Weather Service said.
By Thursday morning, the entire region will be well below freezing, setting the stage for accumulating lake effect snow in the traditional snowbelts east of the lakes for the end of the week.
“A vigorous lake response is expected to develop and strengthen from early Thursday morning onwards that will result in what should be significant lake effect snows downstream of the lakes,” the Weather Service said. “At this point it appears the greatest threat for significant accumulations should stay south of the (Buffalo and Rochester) metro areas and focus on the snowbelts south of the city and east of Lake Ontario.”
The cold air will remain into the first half of the weekend, dropping temperature back below normal levels and be cold enough to keep the lake effect snows going.
High temperatures for the last part of the week and into next weekend will be in the teens and 20s, with overnight lows mostly in the single digits above zero. Below zero wind chills will be likely at times.