Focus turns to Friday as weather quiets Wednesday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday september 19 2018 quiet sun friday september 21 severe storms flash flooding
Wednesday will be a nice day for the Finger Lakes to catch its collective breath before a strong storm system rolls in for the end of the work week. [Photo by Helen Heizyk]

A Breath of Fresh Air

Wednesday will transition from some morning clouds to a sunny afternoon in the wake of a subtle cold front that is moving through.

There are a few showers scattered about this morning along the cold front, especially across the southwestern half of the region. Any rain that falls should be light and brief.

Rain chances will greatly diminish by mid-morning and the sun will start to work out. By the late afternoon, skies should be mostly sunny.

Cooler, less humid air will work in on north winds as the front presses east. High temperatures this afternoon will just get above 70 degrees, but dewpoints will drop back into the 50s.

Mostly clear skies and light winds overnight will be great for cooling. Look for morning lows Thursday in the low and mid 50s.

Areas of fog will also be possible early Thursday before sunshine takes over.

Strong Storm System Approaches

The wind on Thursday will turn back to the south as a storm system moves into the Great Lakes.

A warm front will build east from this system, but should remain disorganized and weak until it lifts into northern New York. A stray shower may be possible, but most of the rain along the front looks contained to the North Country.

Temperatures Thursday afternoon will push into the low and perhaps mid 70s with the warmest air over the western Finger Lakes. Skies will be a mix of sun and clouds.

Winds will increase significantly Thursday night with gusts approaching 30 mph by dawn Friday. The south wind will strengthen more, with 40 mph gusts possible during the day Friday.

Warm, moist air will surge north ahead of a cold front on these south winds, push temperatures well into the 70s and even 80s.

friday september 21 2018 day 3 severe weather risk storm prediction center damaging winds squall line
The Storm Prediction Center has all of Upstate New York, including the Finger Lakes, within its Slight (Level 2) risk zone for Friday, September 21, 2018. The main threat from thunderstorms Friday will be damaging winds and flash flooding.

Late in the day, a strong cold front will encounter all of this heat, moisture, and wind and some intense weather may result.

A squall line may develop during the late afternoon and evening. This line may have limited amounts of lightning, but strong damaging winds will be a possibility. The Storm Prediction Center already has our area solidly within its Level 2- Slight risk category.

Additionally, in the wake of the rain and flooding earlier this week, any additional heavy rain, even if it is fairly brief, could produce more flooding.

We are still a couple days away from this event, so there is time for the details to change. However, I have been watching this on the models for several days now and such events are not uncommon in the late summer and fall for our region. I believe this will be something to watch closely, especially with Friday evenings being very active with high school football games.

Stay tuned.

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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.). When not forecasting, he can be found working at the local library, making goat milk soap, running until his legs burn, or playing with his three young boys.

  1. […] A warm front will build east from this system, but should remain disorganized and weak until it lifts into northern New York. A stray shower may be possible, but most of the rain along the front looks contained to the North Country. […]