Limited storm development reduces severe threat Saturday

Thunderstorm development will be very limited this afternoon, keeping the severe risk low to minimal.
Thunderstorm development will be very limited this afternoon, keeping the severe risk low to minimal.

Thunderstorm development will be very limited this afternoon, keeping the severe risk low to minimal.

An area of rain and thunder, left over from Friday night’s thunderstorms over the Upper Great Lakes, will move across northern parts of the Finger Lakes this morning. This precipitation is moving east along a warm front.

Warm, moist air will surge north behind the cluster of rain. While the eastern Finger Lakes is barely above 50 degrees this morning, Buffalo is already into the low 70s. This rapid warm up will cross the remainder of the Finger Lakes this morning.

Even though the atmosphere in this warm, moist environment will be very unstable, there simply will not be anything to lift the warm, unstable air. Without a large scale lifting mechanism, thunderstorm development will be isolated at best.

For the areas in green- most of the western and northern Finger Lakes, the severe threat today is minimal due to a very low chance of storm development. A couple of showers or weak storms may try to develop south of Lake Ontario along a boundary between the warm air and some lake cooled air. A pop up shower or storm cannot be 100% ruled out along some other wind shift or due to topographical differences. Generally speaking though, the areas in green will more likely than not remain rain, and severe weather free.

The areas in yellow to the south and east have a slightly better chance of seeing a couple storms pop up. This would be due to boundaries left in the wake of this morning’s precipitation complex. By the early and mid afternoon, these boundaries will be moving south of most of the Finger Lakes. Again, many areas will probably not see rain, but the extra lift should help a few scattered storms develop enough to reach severe levels.

Should a storm reach a sufficient strength, there is still plenty in the atmosphere that is favorable for severe weather. Strong winds, large hail and even a tornado remain possible. The “LOW” classification for the areas in yellow indicates that only a few areas may realize this potential.

The best chance for severe weather will be during the mid afternoon hours. Severe weather is not expected with any of the rain and thunder this morning, though a brief downpour and some gusty winds are possible north of the Thruway.

The threat for thunderstorms will push south into Pennsylvania by the late afternoon. A couple showers overnight and early Sunday morning may be possible as a cold front moves through. High temperatures will top out near 80 degrees today, but will struggle into the mid 60s on Sunday. Temperatures will gradually warm throughout the week, and hot weather will be possible by next weekend. The majority of the coming week will be dry.

Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil has been forecasting the weather in the Finger Lakes region since 2006 and has degrees in meteorology from SUNY Oswego (B.S. with Honors) and Cornell (M.S.) When not forecasting, he can be found working at the local library, making soap, or playing with his two young boys.

3 Responses

  1. Katherine Lockwood
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    I understand your scale to mean that on the one end, the anchor is “little to no risk of severe weather,” and on the other end, the anchor is “extreme risk of severe weather.” Can I make a wording suggestion, though, for clarity, especially in headlines/titles? If you changed the name to “severity risk,” today’s headline would be clearer. As it is (“Saturday, June 11 Severe Risk”) it reads as “there is severe risk on June 11,” unless you know that there is a scale called “severe risk” and you will categorize the day’s place on that scale later in the article. WIth “severity risk” the headline could read “June 11 Severity Risk,” and if you added “low” it would be completely clear: “June 11 Severity Risk: Low.”
    Thanks for your continued great reporting.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      |

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’m always looking to be more clear and understable, and communicating severe thunderstorm risks is one of the trickiest. I’ll definitely keep this in mind next time around. What did you think of Friday’s headline?

  2. John
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    Wondering about the radar image this AM at 0737. The image shows a yellow enhancement surrounded by green directly overhead us yet ground truth is light cloud cover and wind.