Major rain event continues into Saturday

finger lakes rain amounts
Much of the Finger Lakes saw over 2 inches of rain on Thursday. Steady rain will continue well into Saturday.

Much of the Finger Lakes saw over 2 inches of rain on Thursday. Steady rain will continue well into Saturday.

Rain Amounts from Thursday

Even though, as of Friday morning, we are only about half way through this significant rain event, the Finger Lakes has already seen a very beneficial soaking.

Rain Thursday morning along with thunderstorms Thursday night dumped widespread amounts over 1.5 inches across the Finger Lakes, with many areas seeing between 2 and 3 inches of rain.

Even more extreme rain fell across central Pennsylvania. A line of heavy thunderstorms developed between State College and Williamsport last night and moved very little. Tremendous amounts of rain, estimated between 5-10″, fell in the span of a couple of hours. Numerous communities in that area are under flood emergencies. I pray everyone has been able to stay safe.

In the Finger lakes, some of the heaviest rain last night was from southeastern Steuben county northeast through Ithaca and Groton, where I live. My gauge held about 2.73″ of rain this morning.

Please feel free to share your rain amounts so far in the comments here and/or on Social Media.

Steady Rain Persists

This rain storm is far from over for the Finger Lakes. Steady rain will likely persist across the Finger Lakes through midday Saturday as low pressure tracks from the Ohio Valley across Pennsylvania and then along the New England Coast.

There will likely be very little dry time between now and the end of the rain on Saturday. The rain will slowly end from west to east starting later Saturday morning. Eastern parts of the Finger Lakes, such as Tompkins and Cayuga counties, may not see the rain end until the late afternoon hours.

Generally speaking, the chances for thunderstorms and heavy downpours are less today than they were last night. As a result, rain amounts will not be as high during the next 24-36 hours as they were in the previous 24 hours. Still, most areas will see an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain.

Obviously, this is excellent news and will greatly help (but certainly not end) the drought in the Finger Lakes.

Three Days of Wind

Unfortunately, this storm system will do a number on the brilliant fall colors that the Finger Lakes region has enjoyed over the past week or two. The heavy rain will have taken down some of the leaves, but strong winds will develop and persist for three days and will likely strip most trees of their leaves.

Winds so far have been a bit breezy, but not too strong. However, as the storm system moves off the New England coast and begins to rapidly strengthen, winds will increase across our region. This increase in wind speed will start Saturday afternoon and will persist through Monday. The top winds each day will be during the afternoon hours, with lesser winds overnight.

Each day, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, will see top wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph across the Finger Lakes. The winds will finally begin to lessen on Tuesday.

Cold Air Invades

The final piece of this storm system will be an invasion of cold air. Temperatures today will change little, mostly sticking in the low and mid 50s. Cold air will start to filter in tonight, with lows dropping into the upper 30s and low 40s. A few wet snow flakes may even mix in across the higher elevations of the Southern Tier and Central New York.

Temperatures will rise very little during the day on Saturday. Some of the coldest places may fail to reach 40, while most other areas will struggle to even see 45 degrees.

Highs on Sunday will do a bit better, with most places getting slightly above 50 degrees. Monday and Tuesday will be cooler, with highs mostly near or below 50 degrees.

Even after this storm departs, the cold air will remain locked in place. High temperatures in the 40s and 50s should persist through next weekend.



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.). Drew and his wife have four young boys. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.

8 Responses

  1. William P McKown, Sr.

    In the Newark/Lyons area we received 4.72 inches for the storm total.

  2. Louise Henrie

    3.7 inches overnight in downtown Ithaca! can’t wait to see how much more fell today.

  3. James Hamilton

    3.1 inches fell on us in East Ithaca overnight at altitude 884, north bank of Sixmile Creek valley. Lots of exciting lightning, too!

  4. Ted Schiele

    Drew, a close look at the radar suggests a sharp line running from Elmira to Ithaca, to Cortland, to Rome. Is this line going to stay put, or do you expect it to move east or west?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      It should work it’s way east later on today and definitely tonight into Saturday.

  5. Christine Griffin

    Oops, misstated rain amount…2.63 over the last 24 hrs

  6. Christine Griffin

    2.53 in West Groton 👍

  7. John

    2.62 for Mecklenburg 07 to 07 reading on NWS gauge.