This column was written by Zachary Labe, who runs “Cornell Weather” and is a self-described “brazen weather freak.”


Why I shop downtown — Marty

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Ithaca, NY – A weak storm system will spread mixed precipitation Tuesday night across southern New York State. However, snow and ice accumulations will remain minor. Conditions will start to improve by the middle of the week.

Currently, a warm front is lifting northward over the Middle Atlantic States with precipitation spreading out ahead of it across southern New York. Sub-freezing temperatures at the surface will allow for a mixture of light snow, sleet, and freezing rain for several hours during the late Tuesday afternoon to early evening time frame. The storm system is relatively disorganized so snow amounts will remain below 2.0 inches and ice accretions will be around a trace in Ithaca. Warmer air will quickly move into the area changing any precipitation over to plain rain overnight.

The National Weather Service in Binghamton, NY has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Tompkins County from 5pm Tuesday until 7am Wednesday for some light snow, sleet, and freezing rain accumulations. Travel may be tricky in some areas during the evening commute.

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM THIS AFTERNOON
TO 7 AM EST WEDNESDAY…

* LOCATIONS…PORTIONS OF THE WESTERN CATSKILLS, FINGER LAKES,
SUSQUEHANNA REGION AND MOHAWK VALLEY OF NEW YORK.

* HAZARDS…LIGHT SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.

* ACCUMULATIONS…UP TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW AND A LIGHT COATING OF
ICE..

* TIMING…SNOW WILL BEGIN DURING THE MID TO LATE AFTERNOON HOURS, THEN
MIX WITH SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN THIS EVENING THROUGH DAYBREAK.

* TEMPERATURES…IN THE LOWER 30S.

* WINDS…SOUTH 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.

* IMPACTS…A LIGHT GLAZE OF ICE ON AREA ROADWAYS WILL RESULT IN
SLIPPERY TRAVEL THIS EVENING INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.

Temperatures will rise into the 40s on Wednesday with any additional rain showers ending by 10am as a cold front passes through. Colder air will then circulate into the Finger Lakes region by Thursday with temperatures struggling to reach the freezing mark.

Another similar storm system will move into the area Friday afternoon and evening. A bit of snow and sleet is possible, but conditions look to be even warmer than the system for Tuesday so accumulations will remain minor. Precipitation will changeover to plain rain for Saturday as temperatures rise into the lower 40s.

Looking into the longer term, temperatures will stay relative mild with above normal temperatures expected over the next two weeks. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above normal temperatures across almost the entire contiguous United States in the 8-14 day time frame.

There are a few signs that the weather pattern may shift around the middle to end of December toward a colder and snowier regime, but that remains uncertain. For now, enjoy the relatively quiet weather accompanied by normal to above normal temperatures.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.