The weather is starting to look a bit interesting for late this afternoon into the evening with some of the first strong thunderstorms of 2015 possible.
A strong area of low pressure is moving into the Great Lakes this morning. Rain ahead of this system’s warm front moved through overnight and is departing the region this morning to the north. A narrow area of sunny skies will help warm air will push north today, boosting temperatures will into the 60s across western New York and parts of the western Finger Lakes. This is the system’s warm-sector. Cooler temperatures are expected further east, leading to a difficult temperature forecast for places like Elmira, Ithaca and Auburn.
Late this afternoon, a cold front will begin to push in from the southwest. Showers and thunderstorms should develop fairly easily across western Pennsylvania and western New York. With strong winds aloft, a few of the storms may be able to produce some strong winds and hail. Surface winds will be southeasterly, with more westerly winds aloft, which could result in a brief, weak tornado. The chances of this happening are quite small, but it bears mentioning anyways.
As the the thunderstorms track east, the sun will set and the loss of daytime heating will weaken the storms. Still, if enough warm air builds in during the afternoon, some stronger storms may make it into the Finger Lakes as well. I am not expecting a lot of severe weather across western New York or the Finger Lakes today, but it is a set up worth watching as the day evolves.