Thunderstorms likely Thursday afternoon and evening in the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast thunderstorms heavy rain flash flooding
Thunderstorms with heavy downpours are likely this afternoon and evening across the Finger Lakes. [Photo by Nanci McCraine]
Watch out for heavy downpours, lightning, and maybe some gusty winds or small hail this afternoon and evening.

Stormy Thursday Ahead

The weather forecast for the Finger Lakes has taken a decided turn for the worse today.

What was expeceted to be a few scattered showers and storms across the western Finger Lakes now looks like more widespread rain and thunder event

Showers will start to become scattered across western New York and the western Finger Lakes this morning. These should be light and not too problematic.

Outside of these showers, clouds and a little sun should be expected.

By the afternoon hours, these showers will press east and begin to both strengthen and become more numerous.

During the mid and late afternoon, widespread rain and thunder is likely across the western and northern Finger Lakes. Areas further south and east, such as Corning and Ithaca, may stay mostly dry until the late afternoon or evening hours.

Rain will spread east tonight and continue into the overnight hours. After the sun sets, thunder and lightning will become less common.

Storm Threats

finger lakes weather thunderstorm threats flash flooding
Flash flooding will be the primary threat from thunderstorms on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Most areas will not see flooding problems. Click to enlarge.

The overall conditions for severe weather are low today. Temperatures will rise into the 70s and low 80s across the Finger Lakes, but will also be warm higher up in the atmosphere.

This will create an environment that is generally unfavorable for robust thunderstorm activity.

Still, there is a minimal chance for a few storms to become briefly strong with some gusty winds and small hail.

Of greater concern today will be the heavy rain threat. Numerous thunderstorms could move repeatedly over the same areas this afternoon, leading to some excessive rainfall amounts.

The ground over the Finger Lakes can take 2-3 inches of rain in a three hour period before flooding becomes a serious threat. A couple very localized areas could approach that threshold, particularly in the northwestern Finger Lakes between Rochester, Genesseo, and Geneva.

The flash flood threat may persist into the evening further east as steady moderate to heavy rain develops.

The overall threat for flooding is low and most areas will be able to handle the rain today without many problems.

Friday’s Forcast Improving

The tradeoff for worse weather expected today is a better forecast for Friday.

The frontal system that will be responsible for the rain and thunderstorms should move east a bit quicker on Friday.

Most of the widespread rain should be well east of the Finger Lakes by sunrise. However, there will still be a couple of chances for some small, quick moving bands of showers and thunderstorms during the morning and afternoon hours.

Most of the time, it should be dry though.

Temperatures will be warmer as a result, with highs pushing into the 80s over the western areas with 70s further east.

Father’s Day Weekend Preview

Temperatures will continue to trend upward this weekend.

Saturday will push into the mid 80s while Sunday will be closer to 90 degrees.

Both days will be quite humid, making it feel even warmer.

A few more isolated showers and storms will be possible Saturday morning and early afternoon. A much greater threat for thundestorms looms later Sunday, but remains uncertain. The potential does exist for strong to severe thunderstorms late Sunday.

Sunday will also be very windy, regardless of any thunderstorms, with gusts of 35-45 mph possible. The strongest winds will be over the western areas.

Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
Follow Meteorologist Drew Montreuil:

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.

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