First Alert Weather: Bitter cold start to the weekend, heavy snow to end it

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The cold air has begun to set in, and we’re in for a bitter start to the weekend.

Temperatures tonight drop into the lower single digits away from Lake Ontario, with wind chills -10 to -15. Temperatures will struggle to make it out of the single digits on Saturday, even by the afternoon. This still means an uncomfortably cold evening in Orchard Park for the Bills game for any fans who aren’t prepared. Dress in layers, and cover any exposed skin you can! We’ll see light lake flakes persisting into Saturday afternoon, but little more than a coating to an inch, maybe 2" along the Lake Ontario shoreline, as the air will be extremely dry. Saturday night should be the coldest night of the season, with some spots dropping below zero thanks to a light wind and a clearing sky.

Sunday will be a very pretty day with plenty of sunshine and temperatures coming back out of the freezer and into the 20s.

Winter storm early next week: A Red Alert is now up for the expected area-wide snow Sunday night into Monday. Model guidance has been remarkably consistent in the general track of the storm bringing our area a significant snowfall. This track has a history of producing heavy snow over Rochester, but the devil is in the details. We’ll be watching any wobbles east or west in the exact track of the storm, which may play a fairly significant role in just how much now parts of our area get. At this point, we’re expecting a foot or more for the Rochester area, and 6-12" for the Finger Lakes Sunday night into Monday night. These are early numbers, and you should expect changes this weekend! Bottom line: Prepare for difficult travel on Monday if you have to be on the roads.

Following the main storm, we’ll see some additional lake effect early on Tuesday, followed by another fast-moving clipper with minor accumulations on Wednesday, and another bitter blast on Thursday. Winter has returned.


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