Much Warmer than Normal
Temperatures are starting Thursday in the upper 40s and low 50s as warm air continues to pump into the Finger Lakes ahead of an approaching cold front.
Considering normal morning temperatures for mid-January are in the mid teens, the temperatures this morning are about 35 degrees above normal.
Clouds, rain, and the approaching cold front will limit how much warmer it gets today. Most areas can expect to add a few degrees throughout the course of the day. Areas further northwest, such as Rochester and Geneseo, may already be near their daily highs in the mid 50s.
While warm, these temperatures will fall well short of record highs. The daily records in Geneva and Ithaca are in the upper 60s, set back in 1975.
Rain & Wind Thursday
A band of rain from northwestern Pennsylvania will bring some steadier rain to portions of the Southern Tier this morning. Some of that rain may extend into the southeastern Finger Lakes, including Ithaca.
The rest of the region will see on and off lighter rain showers this morning.
This afternoon, the rain will become more widespread and heavier. The atmosphere will be very moist, so some heavier downpours will also be possible.
Rain amounts will exceed a half inch for many areas, but most places will not see more than an inch. This should keep the flooding risk low, though localized problems could develop if any ice jams form on area streams and rivers.
In addition to the rain, it will once again be quite breezy across the Finger Lakes. Very strong winds above the surface will have a hard time reaching the surface, but some wind gusts over 40 mph are still possible through the afternoon hours.
Brief Cool Down Before Longer Thaw
After the cold front moves through this afternoon, temperatures will drop back into the 30s this evening and 20s overnight. This will kick off a three-day cool down across the Finger Lakes.
Temperatures will fall slightly below normal for Friday and Saturday and will hover around normal for Sunday. This translates into daytime highs in the upper 20s Friday and Saturday, with low 30s on Sunday.
The air behind the cold front will be quite dry, so no precipitation is expected through the weekend.
Winds will turn back towards the south by Sunday evening, ushering in another period of above normal temperatures. This time, the warm weather will last throughout next week, with most days seeing temperatures in the 40s or even 50s.
Those looking for snow will be sorely disappointed, as it may not be until late January before the region sees a returns to wintry weather.