A few strong thunderstorms late Thursday in the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast thursday may 3 2018 severe thunderstorms
The first severe thunderstorm threat of the season will unfold late this afternoon and evening but will be a small event overall. [Photo by Nanci McCraine]

Late Day Thunderstorms

After showers Thursday morning, an afternoon break in the precipitation should set the stage for a couple of strong thunderstorms late this afternoon and evening.

Cloudy skies overnight have temperatures starting the day in the upper 60s and low 70s.

At 7 am, one area of rain was moving across the northern Finger Lakes while a second area was moving east across Lake Erie.

These areas of rain should gradually dissipate this morning, but showers will remain a possibility until midday.

Temperatures during this time will rise slightly into the mid 70s.

NOON UPDATE: An increase in morning sun has increased the chance for more widespread and more significant severe storms. While this morning I was expecting sporadic, minor wind damage, the threat for more numerous and more severe wind damage reports is increasing. While still unlikely, the tornado threat needs to be considered as well.

I have “crossed out” portions of the blog below that I do not feel accurately represent the threat anymore.

Unfortunately, I am unable to update the graphic below at this time, but would suggest that the yellow wind bar be advanced further to the right, but not yet in the ‘elevated’ zone. The tornado risk should also be adjusted to the right slightly, but not into the ‘low’ zone.

Live video storm coverage is a possibility tonight.

Between noon and about 4 pm, skies will remain mostly cloudy, but a few breaks of sun may work out.

Temperatures will push into the upper 70s with dewpoints rising into the mid 60s.

This will result in modest amounts of instability in the atmosphere, which is the fuel that gets thunderstorms going.

A few scattered thunderstorm cells should be developing by 5 pm 3 pm and will continue into the evening hours.

Severe Thunderstorm Threats

finger lakes weather severe thunderstorm forecast thursday may 3 2018
Most places will not see severe weather on Thursday, May 3, 2018. A few locations may see damaging wind gusts. [Click image to enlarge]
Winds aloft are favorable for the development of some severe thunderstorms once these cells develop.

Given that only scattered thunderstorm cells are expected, most areas will probably not see severe weather.

Still, a few locations will be subject to stronger storms.

The primary threat with these cells will be damaging winds. Some small hail will also be possible.

There is a very small tornado threat. I find it unlikely that any tornadoes will touch down, but it is not totally out of the question.

The threat for severe thunderstorms should diminish after 9 or 10 pm, though a few additional non-severe storms will be possible beyond that and again early Friday morning.

Round Two Friday?

After some morning rain and thunder again on Friday, skies should again partially clear for the afternoon.

As a cold front approaches in the evening, thunderstorms will again become possible in the late afternoon and evening hours.

With a stronger forcing mechanism in the cold front, thunderstorms may be more widespread as they organize into a broken line.

Given the current expected timing and position of the front, areas further west and north may have a higher severe risk.

Again, damaging winds will be the primary threat.

The set up for Friday will be watched closely with a full update in the morning.

Nice Weekend

Behind Friday’s cold front, the weather will turn quiet and pleasant for the weekend.

Saturday will have a mix of sun and high, thin cirrus clouds.

Sunday may be a bit cloudier with a late day shower possible.

High temperatures will be near or just above normal. Saturday will reach the upper 60s while Sunday will top out in the mid 60s.

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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.

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