An area of low pressure will track from the Midwest across our region on Thursday, bringing a period of heavy rain to most of the area.
With the compact low pressure tracking very nearly over us, we are in a perfect spot to get a quick but intense shot of rain. This rain should move in during the afternoon hours and continue into the evening before moving out tonight. A stripe of rain totals around or above 1″ will be possible through most of the Finger Lakes (dark green on map above).
Across the Southern Tier, heavy rain is still possible, but may come as a result of some thunderstorms that form ahead of the track of the low (light green). Conditions will be very marginal for thunderstorms to develop, but there is enough forcing (the low) and enough wind in the atmosphere that there is a minimal severe risk, with strong winds the primary concern.
The severe threat will be a bit higher to the southeast across eastern Pennsylvania, where a tornado or two cannot be ruled out in the warmer, juicer air ahead of the low.
Generally speaking, the rain should remain below flash flood thresholds. However, some localized areas that see a quick burst of rain, with rainfall rates over 1″/hr, could see some flooding issues. It will be something to watch as the afternoon and evening unfold.
Behind this system, skies will start to clear overnight as high pressure builds in. This will set us up for a gorgeous weekend, with mostly sunny skies Friday and Saturday and temperatures pushing well into the 80s for Sunday.