(WETM) – A winter wonderland may arrive sooner than usual. After a return to a seasonable fall this past weekend, snowflakes are now predicted to arrive in Central New York as early as late October.
Thankfully, it is still too early for blizzard-like conditions to arrive any time soon, but the patterns in New York State are already becoming favorable for winter-like weather. Temperatures are dropping in highly elevated areas like Whiteface Mountain in Upstate New York, which has now gotten its first frost of the season. This cold surge is likely to arrive in Central New York and may affect mountainous terrain starting Sunday, October 24.
According to Senior Meteorologist Paul Pastelok, conditions just north of Central New York are looking favorable for a chance of plowable snow early in the season. “We are having what we call a stratospheric warming event,” Paul said. “Typically what it does is it weakens what we call the polar vortex and cold air collapses towards the mid-latitudes. We are not looking for any extreme cold, but next Sunday, there could be a few flakes in the air with this cold air mass coming in briefly.”
Another factor driving the likelihood of late October snowfall in Central New York is the above-average water temperatures, especially in the Great Lakes region. “All Great Lakes, all five of them, have been running above normal this fall,” Paul said. The large difference in temperatures between the surface of the lakes and the upper atmosphere can result in lake-effect snow, a common type of precipitation in the Twin Tiers.
With the trend of warmer waters and decreasing air temperatures, Central New York could also likely see greater chances of snowfall by early to mid November.