Sunny and cooler now, but monitoring two late week thunderstorm threats

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday may 21 2019 cool breezy sunny dry
Sunny and dry weather will grace the Finger Lakes Tuesday and Wednesday, though temperatures will be a touch below normal. Thursday and Saturday both have the potential for thunderstorms, some strong. [Photo by Lisa Curren Joens]

Dry Weather Tuesday & Wednesday

The Finger Lakes will enjoy a couple of dry days before the weather turns more active later this week.

A large high pressure system is settling into the Upper Great Lakes and will pass through the Finger Lakes early Wednesday before moving off the East Coast by Thursday.

With the high to our northwest and a departing low pressure system over far eastern Canada, a flow of cool air will persist across our region. Blustery northwest winds will blow throughout the day. Gusts will be strongest towards Central New York, where they could eclipse 35 mph.

High temperatures will only reach about 60 degrees today as a result. This is despite bright, sun-filled skies. Only a few clouds over far eastern areas are expected this morning.

The wind will become nearly calm after sunset. Skies will remain clear, allowing for another chilly night. Most areas will drop to around 40 degrees. Some typically colder valleys will end up in the 30s, though. Frost is not expected.

Wednesday will be sunny to start but some cloud cover will gradually work in during the afternoon. These clouds will probably not completely block out the sun. Winds will remain light with variable directions.

Temperatures will be a bit warmer on Wednesday, but still a touch below normal. Look for highs to reach the mid and upper 60s.

Watching Thursday & Saturday

Our next two weather systems will pass through the region on Thursday and Saturday. Both of these systems will have the potential to bring strong thunderstorms to the area.

The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted our area in their outlooks for both Thursday and Saturday. We typically see severe designations this far out only a couple times a year. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty given the length of time. Severe thunderstorm forecasting is extremely complex and even a small change in just one of many variables can completely change the outlook.

finger lakes weather forecast severe thunderstorm outlook day 3 thursday may 23 2019
The Storm Prediction Center Day 3 outlook for Thursday, May 23, 2019, has a level 2 risk for the Finger Lakes. The highest risk level for a Day 3 outlook is level 4.
finger lakes weather forecast severe thunderstorm outlook day 5 saturday may 25 2019
Likewise, the Storm Prediction Center has indicated severe weather will be possible over the Finger Lakes in their Day 5 outlook for Saturday, May 23, 2019.

At this time, the storm potential for Thursday looks to be focused on the evening hours. Much of the daytime looks mostly dry with clouds and some breaks of sun. Temperatures should rise into the upper 70s to near 80 degrees.

The four main ingredients for severe thunderstorms — instability, moisture, a forcing mechanism (like a front), and changing wind speeds and directions with height — all look to be present to some extent Thursday evening.

Likewise, at this very early stage, all ingredients look to be present on Saturday as well. Thursday’s set up looks a bit more favorable for strong storms, but it is far too early to be sure of much about Saturday.

I will continue to monitor these situations and give no-hype, useful information geared towards informing and not scaring. You can count on FLX Weather to not sensationalize any threats and to bring you unrivaled, up to the minute coverage to keep you informed during any severe weather events.

Outside of these thunderstorm chances, the weather will continue to be pleasant. Friday, Sunday, and Monday all look primarily dry outside of a stray shower. Temperatures Friday will be in the low 60s while Sunday will reach the low 70s. Monday should be somewhere in between.

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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.). Drew and his wife have three young boys and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.