ITHACA, N.Y. — Snow squalls and low visibility are expected in Tompkins and surrounding counties throughout Thursday — a nasty prelude to an arctic air outbreak expected to hit the Southern Tier this weekend.

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The chance for snow in Ithaca is about 50 percent throughout the day with high temperatures in the upper teens, the National Weather Service says. With northwest winds up to 20 mph, it could feel as low as  -2 degrees.

Snowfall is expected to be less than an inch. Three inches of snow was reported on Wednesday, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center. 

A hazardous weather outlook issued for the Tompkins County area says visibility could be less than a mile at some times on Thursday.

But the worst of the weather will move into the area beginning Friday.

The National Weather Service says an arctic air outbreak is expected to hit the region on Friday, bringing with it the coldest air since last winter.

There is expected to be “dangerously low wind chills reaching at least the teens to 20s below zeros Saturday.” Some places could even see wind chills drop lower.

A snow squall is also possible to go along with the low temperatures.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.