Monitoring Heavy Rain Threat for Thursday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday june 19 2019 thursday june 20 2019 flash flooding heavy rain
Wednesday will have just a few isolated areas of rain, but widespread heavy rain is more likely Thursday with a chance for isolated flash flooding. [Photo by Alyssa Johnson]

Flash Flooding Possible Thursday

An area of low pressure will bring widespread rain to the Finger Lakes on Thursday.

All week, I’ve been mentioning the possibility that this system will bring heavy rain. I’ve also stressed the uncertainty in the timing and position of the heaviest rain.

While there are still uncertainties to resolve, confidence is increasing that somewhere in our region will see significant rainfall on Thursday. The timing of the heaviest rain will be focused on the afternoon hours Thursday.

The flash flood threat will begin to be set today as some slow moving showers and thunderstorms develop this afternoon. Flooding is not expected today in the Finger Lakes, but any areas that see heavy rain today could be more prone to flooding tomorrow.

However, heavy rain today is not a requirement for flooding tomorrow. Nor does receiving heavy rain today mean it will flood tomorrow. It is just one piece of the much larger puzzle that would make flooding easier to achieve.

Showers will continue through the night before gradually increasing Thursday morning. A widespread area of rain with embedded downpours should develop by the afternoon.

Some of the heaviest rain will be in thunderstorms embedded in the southern edge of this area of rain, or more discrete cells south of the main area of rain that could also have some threat for damaging winds or hail.

The problem will be if thunderstorms move repeatedly over the same areas, or simply do not move much at all.

Many areas will see over an inch of rain on Thursday. A handful of areas could approach 3 inches of rain. One or two isolated locations could see even more than that if everything comes together perfectly.

Should that occur, dangerous flash flooding would be likely. While unlikely, catastrophic flooding on the scale of last August in southern Seneca County is not completely out of the question.

I mention this not to hype or scare, and stress that the chances for dangerous weather are small and would be very isolated should they occur. However, it is important to be aware of the potential, even if it never comes to be.

Showers will taper off Thursday night and end very early Friday. We should then remain dry through the weekend with the next chance for rain coming on Monday.

I will have a full update Thursday morning as this system begins to unfold. Stay tuned and encourage your friends and family to receive my latest updates via email, which is more reliable than social media. Signing up is simple, secure, and free. Just send them this post and ask them to fill out the form below:

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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.