1-2+ feet of lake effect snow possible in parts of central NY Tuesday night and Wednesday

Jan 12, 2016

It's been a quiet winter so far for central New York, but that's about to change. Heavy lake effect snow will likely make driving very difficult over the next few days. 

Many North Country residents have seen more than two feet of snow over the last few days, but now the lake effect will shift to the south. 

Lake effect snow warnings are in effect for Onondaga, Madison, Oneida, Northern Cayuga and Wayne counties, starting Tuesday evening and lasting until Wednesday evening. Lake effect snow warnings for Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties go into effect Tuesday afternoon and last until Thursday afternoon. 

When will the snow fall?

A brief snow squall is expected to move through the region late Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. That could leave an inch or two of accumulation. Then, late Tuesday night, the lake effect will become more organized over areas north of Syracuse. The snow is expected to shift south toward the Syracuse area during the day Wednesday, then lift back to the north late Wednesday into Thursday. 

How much snow will fall?

Because lake effect snow is so localized, it's very hard to predict exactly how much snow will fall in any particular area. But generally, 6-12" of snow is good possibility for the Syracuse area from early Wednesday through Wednesday night. Areas to the north of Syracuse (Northern Cayuga, Oswego Counties), along with the western parts of Madison and Oneida Counties could see 12-24", with localized higher amounts, by Thursday morning.

What next?

By Thursday, the lake effect band will shift back to the north and weaken. Most of central New York will see some snow showers. 

WRVO will bring you weather updates throughout the day Wednesday. You can check the latest weather watches and warnings from the National Weather Service, and check our updated list of closings and delays.