First look at Monday’s severe thunderstorm threat

finger lakes weather forecast severe thunderstorms monday may 1 2017
The first significant severe thunderstorm event of the season may unfold Monday afternoon and evening. [Photo by Jen Ludwig]
Damaging winds will be the main risk in Monday’s storms, but hail and a tornado cannot be ruled out either.

Monday Severe Threat Preview

A warm and slightly muggy air mass will move into the Finger Lakes overnight Sunday, setting the stage for some severe thunderstorms come later Monday.

While the atmosphere will be only marginally to slightly supportive of thunderstorm development, a strong cold front and very strong winds above the surface will help enhance the severe thunderstorm threat substantially across the Finger Lakes.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop over western New York by the mid-afternoon and should race northeast across the Finger Lakes. As the storms work east, the atmosphere will become less favorable for severe weather and the storms will begin to weaken.

At this point, the primary threat appears to be over the central and western Finger Lakes, but the eastern Finger Lakes are certainly under the gun as well. The timing of the storms will most likely be between 4-8 pm.

Since the atmosphere is not perfectly primed for thunderstorms, the severe thunderstorms will likely be scattered cells and small line segments. As such, there will be many areas that get missed by the individual storms.

Still, those areas that do see storms will be at risk for damaging winds. There will also be a minimal risk for hail and a tornado.

I expect a handful of damaging wind reports with trees and power lines knocked over, along with a couple reports of mostly small hail. I am less sure about what exactly to think about the tornado risk at this time.

I will have more updates Monday morning, including a severe weather risk map to highlight which areas are under the gun and when. Stay tuned.

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.

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