Very Changeable Weather Through Thursday

<B>(Tuesday Afternoon January 29, 2013)</B> Temperatures will slowly rise through central New York. That means by the time the next round of precipitation falls, it will be in the form of rain. Showers will continue tonight and could be accompanied by some thunder. Our temperatures will continue to rise overnight and it is very likely Syracuse will be near 50 degrees Wednesday morning.
On today’s weather map, a complex weather system consisting of a warm and cold front along with multiple areas of low pressure centers is evident over the mid-section of the country.  Over the next 24-36 hours, this system will dominate our weather in one way or another. 

Later this afternoon, the aforementioned warm front, the leading edge to warmer air, closes in on the region and showers will develop.  This means you should expect a wet late afternoon and evening commute home from work. We’ve been watching the observations along this warm front to our west this morning and there has even been some thunder along with the showers.  This tells us there is at least some ‘instability’ aloft. As this front passes over us later today, we could have some thunder also.  Winds will also begin to pick up from the south and southeast in response to the increasing pressure gradient (change in air pressure over distance) as the weather system to the west gets closer to Central New York. 

Winds will only increase further tonight and especially tomorrow.  In fact, it’s projected that wind speeds will reach 70-90 mph 3000-5000 feet above the ground during the day tomorrow.  Naturally, south winds of this intensity will have no problem drawing record warmth into the region (current record for tomorrow is 54° set in 2006), but it will also make for a rather windy day.  In particular, wind speeds over the higher elevations of Central New York may find wind gusts in excess of 50 mph tomorrow.  While it’s a small threat, thus we’ll need to watch for any heavier showers and thundershowers as they will have the chance to bring down stronger winds speeds to the ground.

The warmth will be short-lived as much colder air will arrive Thursday on the heels of a gusty west winds.  With a cold and moist air mass moving over the Great Lakes, heavier lake effect snow may fall. Right now it appears the heaviest snow Thursday will fall east of Lake Ontario.  That means for most of central New York it will just be a blustery and colder day Thursday.  Now, IF lake effect snow were going to impact the Syracuse area it would have to come Thursday night or Friday as our computer models suggest a switch in the winds to more of a northwesterly direction.  Chilly temperatures and the threat for snow showers will persist into the upcoming weekend.
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