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Weather Rollercoaster: From Record Highs to Near-Blizzard Conditions in Central New York

StoriesWeather Rollercoaster: From Record Highs to Near-Blizzard Conditions in Central New York

Central New York finds itself at the center of a meteorological whirlwind as it experiences a dramatic shift in weather patterns over the next 36 hours. From record-breaking warmth to the threat of near-blizzard conditions, residents are in for a wild weather journey.

Record-Breaking Warmth

Syracuse is set to bask in unseasonably warm temperatures yet again, with the mercury expected to soar to a record-high of 70 degrees for the second consecutive day in late February. Tuesday’s high of 71 degrees shattered previous records and tied for the second-warmest February day ever recorded in the city. Today’s projected high of 70 degrees would also surpass the existing record of 66 degrees set back in 1954.

Winter’s Return

However, the warmth will be short-lived as winter makes a dramatic comeback with a vengeance. Within hours of reaching record highs, Central New York will be plunged back into wintry conditions characterized by damaging winds and lake effect snow. A high wind warning goes into effect at 2 p.m. today, followed by a lake effect snow warning from 10 p.m. tonight until 7 p.m. Thursday.

Near-Blizzard Conditions

The National Weather Service has issued warnings of near-blizzard conditions, particularly in areas experiencing the heaviest snow bands. A narrow strip of land could see nearly a foot of snow accumulation, posing risks of reduced visibility and hazardous travel conditions.

Rapid Temperature Drop

As a bitter cold front sweeps through the region, temperatures are expected to plummet rapidly. From a record high of 70 degrees, temperatures will plummet below freezing between 3 and 9 p.m., reaching the low 20s by early Thursday morning. Accompanying the temperature drop will be powerful wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph, capable of causing tree damage and power outages.

Lake Effect Snow

The shift in winds will trigger lake effect snow, with moisture evaporating from Lake Ontario contributing to localized heavy snowfall. While the entire region is expected to see some accumulation, a narrow band, possibly centered over Syracuse, could receive significant snowfall amounts approaching a foot by late Thursday.

Despite the tumultuous weather expected over the next few days, residents can take solace in the fact that conditions will gradually improve by the end of the week. As temperatures rebound into the upper 40s and beyond, the weekend forecast promises milder and more stable weather, providing a welcome respite from the meteorological mayhem of Leap Day 2024 in Central New York.

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