Cold front brings potential for gusty thunderstorms and flooding

finger lakes weather forecast thunderstorms cold front severe wind flash flooding saturday february 25 2017
Areas east of Cayuga Lake seem to be most at risk for damaging winds and flash flooding early this afternoon.

A cold front crossing the Finger Lakes will become hazardous as it reaches the eastern Finger Lakes early Saturday afternoon.

Severe Thunderstorms Possible Saturday Afternoon

For days, I have been mentioning a strong cold front that will cross the area today and advertising the chance for some thunderstorms and strong winds along the front.

Now that the front is moving into western New York and will move through the region over the next six hours, the details on this event are starting to become more clear.

For most of the Finger Lakes, the front will bring some rain and wind, but the atmosphere will not be primed for too much in the way of hazardous weather.

The rain should arrive in the western Finger Lakes by the mid-morning and should be pushing into the heart of the region by late morning.

Short term models are in good agreement that some rather impressive strengthening of the rain and wind will take place shortly after noon. A squall line is likely to develop with torrential rain, possibly damaging winds, and some thunder and lightning.

Wind and flash flooding are the primary risks from this squall line. The areas most at risk are places roughly east of Cayuga Lake and into Central New York.

After the initial line moves through, a period of steady heavy rain may linger for an hour or two. By the late afternoon, most of the precipitation will move out.

By that time, temperatures that are already into the 60s across these areas will have fallen back into the 40s or even upper 30s.

Winds behind the front will gust over 40 mph across the region into this evening before gradually lessening.

Cool, But Not Too Cold

The cold front is quite impressive in and of itself. The drop in temperature will be rapid and the front will put an end to the record warmth of the past week.

However, this front will not deliver a lasting shot of bitter cold. Instead, this front will act to reset the atmosphere back closer to normal with cool, but not cold conditions.

Sunday will be the coldest day of the next week or so, with temperatures mostly in the mid 30s for high temperatures. This is spot on the normal conditions for late February.

Next week, temperatures will push back above normal. Highs on Monday should be well into the mid and upper 40s, with some 50s possible Tuesday and Wednesday. Cooler air will start to work back in later in the week, with some below normal temperatures possible by the weekend.

The middle of March still looks colder than normal.

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 goat milk soap, running until his legs burn, or playing with his three young boys.