ITHACA, N.Y. — In this final week of astronomical winter and the first week of Daylight Savings Time, there’s not a whole lot worth noting weather-wise. Some unsettled conditions are likely Tuesday and Thursday, but most of the action should stay south of Tompkins County, with no major storm events forecast. Temperatures will rebound from today and Monday’s cold, generally in the 40s and 50s as we head through the week.

Your Weekly Weather

It’s a cold March Sunday today, and a rather snowy one as frequent light to moderate showers cover much of the Twin Tiwers eastward into New England. This is due to a reinforcing cold front ahead of a batch of frigid Arctic air associated with a clockwise-rotating strong area of high pressure over Central Canada. The showers and die down by sunset with the front’s southeastward movement, but it’s going to be well into Monday morning before those gusty northwest winds calm down. It will be a partly cloudy but bitterly cold and windy night tonight. Lows will bottom out in the low teens, but with those winds still blowing at 15 to 25 MPH with 35 MPH gusts, it will feel subzero outside, so do limit your time outdoors if possible, and especially the exposure of uncovered skin.

Monday will be a dry but cold day as that Canadian high pressure builds in. The pressure gradient is not as tight closer to its core so the winds will be lighter, but the Arctic air still portends a chilly day with highs in the low 30s with but a few passing clouds. Monday night will see increasing clouds as the high heads east, with mostly cloudy skies by morning as the next storm system approaches. It will remain dry overnight, with lows in the mid teens.

Tuesday will see the storm currently dumping upwards of three feet of snow on Denver pass to the south of Tompkins County, over the Virginias and into the Atlantic. The storm will have weakened quite a bit since its Rocky Mountain pummeling, and as it ushers in milder (seasonable) air ahead of its counterclockwise circulation. Snow showers are likely before noon, and rain showers during the afternoon, but the overall precipitation amount and accumulation will not be significant. Highs will make it into the low 40s under mostly cloudy skies. Tuesday night will see a chance or rain showers early, transitioning to snow showers after sunset. A dusting to a coating may be possible under mostly cloudy skies with lows in the low 30s.

Wednesday will be warmer still as a second low developing downwind of the Rockies picks up where the first low left off, driving milder air from the Southern U.S. northward. This will allow for a fairly mild Wednesday, with cloudy skies and highs in the low 50s. Wednesday night will see near-overcast skies as the low quickly moved eastward, its cloud shield spreading in from the Ohio River Valley. However, the precipitation will lag, so it should remain dry overnight Wednesday night into Thursday morning, with lows in the mid 30s.

During the day Thursday, the storm should take a similar track as Tuesday’s storm, over the Mid-Atlantic or maybe a little further south. With a strong high pressure area over Ontario and Quebec, it will be hard for precipitation to make its way into the Southern Tier. Some rain showers are likely, with overcast skies and highs near 50°F, but these are looking weak and scattered so don’t expect much. Thursday night will see the storm head out into the Atlantic, and some rain showers will persist, mostly south and east of Ithaca, with a few snow showers mixing in by daybreak Friday. It will be mostly cloudy with lows in the low 30s.

Friday will we colder as the Canadian high sags southward, ushering in cooler polar air, A few lake enhanced snow showers are possible, but generally it will be a quiet day, with partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 30s to around 40°F. Friday night be cold and dry, with partly cloudy skies and lows in the low 20s.

As the high shifts northeastward Saturday, warmer air will be pulled in on the rear flank of its clockwise circulation. Saturday is looking sunny with highs in the mid 40s, and Saturday night will be mostly clear and in the upper 20s. Sunday is looking to be partly cloudy with highs in the mid 50s.

Graphics courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

A persistent area of low pressure over Kansas and Missouri is likely to create our next significant warm spell starting early next week, with near-normal precipitation for the Northeast. It’s a little early to be making predictions on just how warm, but it seems plausible we’ll break 60°F sometime in the first half of next week, with seasonably dry and overall pleasant weather. We may end up with a classic case of March going out like a lamb, but we’ll save that possibility for next week’s forecast.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at