While the majority of the Finger Lakes will dodge severe storms tonight, western New York is under the gun for strong winds and possibly even a tornado.
Strong Thunderstorm Potential
A strong cold front will plow through the Finger Lakes tonight. After a hot and humid day, thunderstorms will easily develop along the front this evening as it moves east into western New York.
The wind fields in the atmosphere will be supportive of some strong storms, including a small tornado threat, especially closer to Lake Ontario.
However, the timing of the front will spare much of the Finger Lakes from the brunt of the worst weather. By the time the front arrives after midnight, the atmosphere will be more stable and severe weather will be much less likely.
The best chance for severe thunderstorm tonight will be west of Rochester before 10pm. Wind will be the primary threat, but some hail or a brief tornado cannot be ruled out. Frequent lightning and heavy downpours are also likely.
The storms will start to rapidly decay after 10pm tonight as they head into the western Finger Lakes. By the time they get east of Canadaigua and Bath, they should just be some showers with an occasional clap of thunder. These will mostly be after midnight tonight.
It will be windy across the region, even outside of showers and storms, from this afternoon through the overnight. Some gusts could exceed 30 mph tonight.
Should storms enter into the region sooner, they could progress further east before decaying, but I think the threat is very low for the areas shaded in blue.
Another Hot Day
Setting up tonight’s strong thunderstorms will be another hot and humid day for the Finger Lakes.
A warm front will lift through the region this morning. Clouds and a few stray showers will accompany the front. These should lift north by the midday hours with sunny skies developing behind the front.
Increasing southerly winds will pump heat and humidity north as the “warm sector” between the warm front and cold front moves into the Finger Lakes. Temperatures will approach 90 degrees for many areas, especially across the northern Finger Lakes.
Coupled with dew points around 70 degrees, and the heat index will climb into the mid 90s this afternoon with mostly sunny skies.
Temperatures this evening will remain warm and muggy. Temperatures will hover around 80 degrees long after the sun sets until the cold front moves through after midnight.
Much Cooler Sunday
After the cold front moves through tonight, the heat and humidity will be swept away. In its place, a cool, dry air mass will settle in for Sunday.
Northwest wind will gust between 20-30 mph on Sunday, moving the cool, autumn air into the Finger Lakes. High temperatures on Sunday will generally be within a couple of degrees on either side of 70 degrees, some twenty degrees cooler than Saturday’s high temperatures.
Monday will be pleasant, with highs near average in the low and mid 70s. Tuesday will return to the 80s before another front moves through on Wednesday. This front will send temperatures back to near average for most of the remainder of next week.