Brief respite before heavy rain returns Thursday

finger lakes weather forecast sun rain flood watch
Some sun will manage to come out today before another significant storm approaches the Finger Lakes tonight. [Photo by Janet Steiner]
The Finger Lakes will remain dry today with a bit of sun, but more heavy rain and wind are on the way for Thursday.

Calm Before the Storm

Wednesday will be a much needed break between strong storm systems. Dry conditions, light winds, and some sunshine will give the region at least a little time to dry before the next round moves in.

Clouds are thick early this morning as low level moisture remains entrenched across the area. These clouds should gradually be eroded away later this morning and into the early afternoon. A few hours of sunshine are possible once that happens and before new clouds stream in from the southwest.

Temperatures this morning are mostly in the low 40s but should rise above average once again with highs in the mid and upper 50s.

Clouds will start to increase in earnest after sunset and some showers will start to work in after midnight.

Temperatures this evening will slowly back into the 40s, with morning lows Thursday mostly in the mid 40s.

Heavy Rain and Wind Return

Rain will increase in coverage after midnight and during Thursday morning as low pressure tracks towards the area from the Southeast. A few rumbles of thunder are possible Thursday morning as the precipitation moves in.

Widespread, occasionally heavy rain will set up by Thursday afternoon as low pressure tracks into Central New York. With the soil quite saturated from the recent rains, any heavier downpours could quickly lead to localized flooding issues, especially along small streams and in poor drainage areas.

Precipitation should spin west of the Finger Lakes for a time Thursday evening as the low tracks northwest towards Lake Ontario.

Steadier, but lighter precipitation will sweep back in for Friday on the backside of the low. Some of this may fall as snow, but accumulations will likely be limited to a couple of inches over the higher elevations with a coating at lower elevations. Precipitation will taper off Friday night and should be out of the region by Saturday morning.

In all, precipitation amounts over an inch are very likely and there is a possibility for widespread amounts of 2-3 inches. In addition to the flash flooding risk, area rivers and lakes may rise above flood stage.

With low pressure tracking very close to the Finger Lakes, the wind will kick up once again as well. Unlike Tuesday, when the strongest winds were further west, this time it will be the eastern Finger Lakes that sees the strongest winds.

The wind will be strongest in the hours before and after dawn on Thursday, with some gusts of 40-50 mph possible.

Rapidly Improving Weather Behind Storm

Once this storm system clears out, the weather will rapidly improve over the Finger Lakes.

Skies should become sunny on Saturday as the storm system pulls away. It will still be a bit breezy, with some wind gusts getting up near 30 mph. Temperatures will be a touch below normal, though, with highs in the mid and upper 40s.

High pressure will the set up over the Southeast, resulting in a broad southwest flow over the eastern part of the country.

With only some high, thin clouds to block the sun, temperatures will take off. Look for highs Sunday to be well into the 60s, with 70s likely on Monday and Tuesday. A few places may even make a run at 80 degrees early next week. Temperatures will cool down closer to normal for the middle and end of next week.

The region will also have a chance to dry out, with only a few showers expected Tuesday night and late next week.

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.