Less than three weeks after thermometers at Cornell shot up to 73 degrees, the National Weather Service is expecting 10 to 15 inches of snow to fall on Ithaca by Wednesday night.
The service expects about a foot of snow to hit the Ithaca area and, in a briefing published on Sunday afternoon, upgraded a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning, which will take effect at 8 p.m. on Monday and continue until 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
Meteorologists with the service said there is a 59 percent chance that Ithaca will receive at least 8 inches of snow and warn of a maximum of 18 inches during the nor’easter.
Snow will begin to steadily fall between 2 and 4 a.m. on Tuesday, although snow showers could begin before then and occur at rates of up to 2 inches per hour.
“Travel will become quite difficult, with snow covered, slippery roads, and poor visibilities,” the service said in its warning. “Increasing winds late Tuesday through Wednesday will create significant blowing and drifting snow, particularly in more open areas.”
Gusts of wind will blow up to 25 m.p.h., and travel will be very dangerous, according to the National Weather Service, which recommends only traveling in an emergency and keeping a flashlight, food and water inside the vehicle.
The winter storm warning spans 18 counties in Northeast Pennsylvania and much of Central New York.