First Alert Weather: Windy and warm Thursday, but winter is on the way

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — As promised, Thursday has been a very warm day for mid-December. In fact, we broke the record high of 62 degrees set back in 1894! We hit 65 Thursday afternoon at the Rochester airport.

The wind picks up tonight as a cold front moves in, and we’ll say so long to our milder air, and hello to higher winds. Wind Advisories are up for Monroe, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming Counties through 1 a.m. Winds will gust 40-50 mph across most of our area, with a few isolated gusts up to 55 mph possible west closer to Buffalo. Power outages aren’t anticipated, but a few isolated outages aren’t impossible. It may be best to take the trash out Friday morning if your garbage day is Friday.

Speaking of Friday, it’ll be a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine returning. It’ll still be a bit breezy, but no wind issues and more seasonable temperatures.

The weekend: We’re expecting a taste of winter this weekend, with an area of snow moving in on Saturday. Precipitation should stay mostly snow for our northern tier counties, with about 2-3" of snow expected for Monroe, Orleans and Wayne Counties. A little bit of sleet may cut down on meager snowfall accumulations south of the Thruway. The return to winter may slow traffic just a bit on Saturday, but widespread issues aren’t expected. Area-wide snow tapers Saturday evening, and we’ll see some limited lake effect Saturday night into Sunday morning, with another inch or two possible in some spots. Overall, we’ll see a minor snowfall, but likely our biggest snow of the season so far this weekend. Sunshine returns Sunday afternoon, and that clear sky plus fresh snowpack will mean a chilly start to Monday in the teens.

The week leading up to Christmas should be cold enough to keep most of that snow on the ground. At this point, there aren’t any major signs of more significant snow leading up to Christmas, but we may be able to hang onto the snow on the ground to give us a white Christmas. Stay tuned!


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