*Areal Flood Watch in effect for the Twin Tiers Thursday afternoon until noon Christmas Day.*
Thanks to a strong southerly breeze our temperatures rose into the 40s overnight. The majority of the area is starting off cloudy and quiet, that will be changing. Winds will continue to be on the strong side, sustained at 10-20 mph with gusts of 35 mph or higher possible. Light rain showers will bring to move in Thursday morning, then rain turns steady by midday. Rain will intensify throughout the afternoon, leading to steady moderate to heavy rain late afternoon and overnight. Rainfall amounts will range from 1.5-2.5″ with isolated higher amounts possible. The isolated higher amounts will be associated with heavy rain bands that set up. Portions of the Northern Tier will have the potential to see close to 3″ of rain. The heavy rain combined with the melting snow will lead to a flood threat across the Twin Tiers. An Areal Flood Watch goes into effect at noon Thursday and continues through noon Friday. The main concerns will be in urban, low-lying, and poor drainage areas. River flooding will also be possible as rivers are expected to rise. Highs for Thursday will be into the upper 40s to low 50s, which will support snowmelt.
As we head into the overnight hours, mild temperatures will continue supporting the continuation of steady rain. At this point, the cold front is looking to occur by the predawn hours on Christmas Day. Cold air will be ushered in behind this frontal passage leading to the transition from rain to snow showers; occuring from west to east. Minor snow accumulation will be possible with the greatest chance being into western portions of Steuben and Tioga (Pa.) counties, where 1-3 inches could occur; the remainder of the Twin Tiers could see a trace- 2″. The greatest concern behind this frontal passage will be the potential for a flash freeze. Temperatures are expected to rapidly fall below freezing leading to wet roads to freeze fast. This will impact your commute Thursday night and Friday morning with the untreated surfaces becoming icy. Highs Friday will be in the low 30s and lows into the low to mid-20s.