Thunderstorms bring rain to parched Finger Lakes Monday

Finger Lakes thunderstorms rain drought
Thunderstorms will drop southeast into the Finger Lakes this morning even as new storms develop towards midday.

Thunderstorms will drop southeast into the Finger Lakes this morning even as new storms develop towards midday.

Monday Rain and Severe Weather Outlook

A cold front is pushing southeast towards the Finger Lakes this morning. Very humid, moist air exists ahead of this front and will set the stage for thunderstorms and locally heavy rain.

Already this morning, an impressive line of thunderstorms is pushing into western New York from Canada with frequent lightning and heavy rain. This activity will continue to push southeast, but should begin to weaken by the mid morning hours. New thunderstorms are expected to develop just ahead of this line over the Finger Lakes during the late morning and midday hours.

The severe weather risk is minimal today. Since the morning will be cloudy and stormy, the atmosphere will not get a chance to become sufficiently destabilized for widespread severe weather. Still, a couple stronger storms may develop later this morning with wind the primary risk. The risk for hail is almost non existent, but there is a slim, outside possibility of a brief, weak tornado spinning up. The tornado threat is on par with most severe threats we see in the Finger Lakes, meaning there is a very slim chance, but 49 out of 50 times, there will not be a tornado.

I do have some concern, however, for localized flash flooding. Slow moving or repeated thunderstorms could dump significant amounts of rain in a short time period. The drought stricken ground is hard and a deluge of rain will have a hard time soaking in. Watch small streams and urban areas for localized flooding.

Thunderstorms may continue to develop over the region into the afternoon hours. By the late afternoon and evening, the activity will shift to the southeast and the Finger Lakes should dry out.

While there will always be some areas that see little rain during thunderstorm events, I feel hopeful that today will be a good day for the drought in the Finger Lakes. It will take more than one good day to reverse the drought, but at this point, every bit helps, provided it doesn’t all come in a 30 minute downpour.

Mid and Late Week Weather

High pressure will build in behind Monday’s thunderstorms, leaving the Finger Lakes dry and sunny on Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures will remain warm, but the humidity will drop. Highs Tuesday should be in the low and mid 80s, with mid and upper 80s on Wednesday.

There will be a chance for a few scattered showers and thunderstorms on Thursday. Friday into Saturday remain very uncertain. However, there is a possibility that a storm system could bring widespread heavy rain to somewhere in the lower Great Lakes or Mid-Atlantic. This is something to watch over the coming days.

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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.