It is time to turn over a new leaf in the Finger Lakes and leave winter behind.
Dry air is moving into the region and has already cut off the lake effect snow this morning. A fair number of clouds are still streaming off of Lake Ontario, but sunny skies should take over by the afternoon.
Friday will be the first day of transition out of this extended late winter, and thus will still be chilly.
Temperatures are starting the day in the upper 20s and low 30s and will rise into the low and mid 40s this afternoon.
Northwest winds will continue to gust to around 30 mph throughout the day, even as skies become sunnier this afternoon.
The wind will drop overnight. Combined with clear skies, look for Saturday morning temperatures to start in the mid and upper 20s.
However, sunny skies from start to finish Saturday will push temperatures towards or just above 50 degrees. Sunday will be warmer yet with mid and upper 50s while 60s are possible by Monday and Tuesday.
Brush Fire Season Begins
While there have already been brush fires in the region this spring, the risk for fires will increase over the next several days.
As temperatures warm Saturday, Sunday, and into early next week, the relative humidity values will drop.
Afternoon relative humidity values are expected to be between 25-40%, which is quite dry and favorable for brush fire development.
With very little to no greening of vegetation to this point, there is plenty of dead vegetation from last year for fuel.
Winds Saturday and Sunday will gust over 20 mph, contributing to the spread of any small fires that start.
Please keep in mind New York State bans open burning every year until May 14th. Small campfires are allowed but should never be left unattended.
Unsafe fire practices unnecessarily put yourself, first responders, and properties at risk.
Is This Really Spring?
We are all very anxious for Spring to really, truly arrive.
The forecast for the next 10-15 days seems rather confident that temperatures will hover around normal, which means plenty of days ranging from the upper 50s to the low and mid 60s.
Snow over the next two weeks looks very unlikely. There may be a small chance for a few flakes on the backside of a storm system towards the end of the month, but generally speaking, we seem to be clear and free from significant snow.
The forecast confidence decreases as we head deeper into May.
The Climate Prediction Center, a branch of NOAA, is calling for the month of May to possibly end up warmer than normal.
However, the longer range European model keeps below normal temperatures in place throughout the month of May.
Even if May is below normal, we are so late in the season already that we should see Spring settle in soon regardless. The cold, dismal, snowy weather of April simply cannot persist to the same extent as we head deeper into May.
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