After weeks of above average temperatures, we may finally be in store for an extended period of below average conditions. The core of this cold air looks to arrive Wednesday night (10/17). Temperatures will be below freezing for the entire area early Thursday morning, with a very high likelihood of a frost. Although growing season is officially over for the Holland Patent area, if you have sensitive vegetation outdoors, cover it or move it inside by Wednesday evening.
What's bringing the cold?
The cold air mass that will move into the area for Wednesday can be attributed to a strong high pressure system located over Illinois. Because high pressure systems spin in a clockwise rotation, it's location places us on the "cold side", with the prevailing wind over Central New York locked in a northwesterly flow, blowing cold air from Canada our way. The images below shows Wednesday's temperature setup.
How low will we go?
As I mentioned above, we can expect a frost. The overnight lows for Wednesday look to be between 25ºF and 28ºF, depending on how quickly the clouds move out from Wednesday's lake effect rain. The maps below are the major model's predictions for the lows. Given that we are still a couple days away from the cold, the models are in relatively good agreement with each other.
Will we see snow?
While temperatures will certainly be cold enough to support snow, the air mass will be drying out as Wednesday night progresses, so while we may see a brief flurry before or around midnight, skies should be clearing out as we head into early Thursday morning. Whatever falls will not accumulate, and there's virtually zero chance that these flurries will lead to a delay on Thursday morning. The next chance of snow looks to be the beginning of next week, although much like this event, the snow will not amount to much, and it should not impact travel.