A few storms with strong winds and hail are possible in the Finger Lakes Friday afternoon, with a larger severe threat to the east.
An incoming cold front and low pressure system this afternoon will bring the chance for some stronger storms to parts of the Finger Lakes. The overall threat across the region is minimal, with only a couple strong to severe storms possible, but the evolution of today’s weather is more complex than a single blanket statement.
There will be two areas to watch for storm development during the early and middle afternoon. The first will be along a boundary out ahead of the main cold front and the second will be along the front itself.
Thunderstorms should start to develop during the early afternoon over the eastern Finger Lakes. Places such as Ithaca, Auburn and Syracuse will see showers and a couple of storms between 1-3pm as this first boundary slides through. These storms should strengthen as they head east of I-81, with a ‘LOW’ threat level assigned to the same areas that saw rain and severe storms on Tuesday. Wind, hail and possibly a brief tornado will be possible for those areas.
Meanwhile, in western New York, a few strong storms may develop along the front itself. These storms will start to develop in the 2-4 pm time frame between Buffalo and Rochester and will track east, mostly over the northern Finger Lakes. A couple reports of strong winds and hail will be possible.
The minimal risk for severe storms continues into the Southern Tier, but I shaded this area a lighter shade of green because I feel storms will be less likely in these areas. The areas in the lighter shading will mostly be between boundaries during the peak heating of the day, causing an area where storm development is less likely. Unfortunately, this means rain will be harder to come by in some of the areas that need it most. Should a storm pop up in these areas, some strong winds or hail may still be possible.
The eastern Finger Lakes, especially near I-90 and Routes 5 & 20, may see a second round of storms as the development from western New York tracks east during the evening. These storms would mostly be after 6pm, and could again have some gusty winds or hail.
If you would like to know what to expect in your exact location, type your zip-code into the box at the top of the right sidebar or in the header of the website. The timing and intensity of the storms is broken down for each zip-code in the Finger Lakes region.
Generally speaking, most areas will probably not see substantial rainfall today. However, a few swaths of heavier rain will be likely along the storm tracks, leading to some localized, temporary easing of the drought. However, with little rain in the forecast for next week, the overall drought picture in the Finger Lakes will not be changing with today’s event.
The 4th of July weekend is looking dry and sunny. Saturday will be a bit cool behind today’s front, with highs in the low and mid 70s. Temperatures will quickly rebound, with highs well into the 80s Monday and nearing 90 degrees on Tuesday. Much of next week is looking hot, with a few more chances at 90 degrees. In fact, an overall hot pattern may be setting up right into the middle of July.