Elevated Flash Flood Risk Thursday

finger lakes weather forecast flash flood map thursday june 20 2019 heavy rain thunderstorms
Map updated at 11AM to include a Level 4 Serious area along the Owasco Inlet near Moravia. Original: Heavy rain and thunderstorms will bring elevated (Level 3) flash flood risk to most of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier through the mid-afternoon.

Breaking Down the Flood Risk

Much of the Finger Lakes is at risk for areas of flooding through the mid-afternoon hours today.

11 AM Update- Numerous flooding reports have already come in today, including in Moravia. A flood warning continues along the Owasco Inlet. Based on how much rain has fallen in Moravia thus far, the fact that flooding has already taken place, and an incoming line of heavy rain and thunderstorms, I am very concerned about significant flooding early this afternoon in and around Moravia. This threat is worthy of a localized upgrade to Level 4- Serious.

With luck, the heavy downpours will miss Moravia *and* areas upstream (Locke, Groton)…but I would be preparing for flooding along the Owasco Inlet, including the village of Moravia. Areas that saw flooding in 2017 will be at risk again this afternoon between 12:30-2PM.

After some locally heavy rain last night and another round of rain and thunderstorms this morning, parts of the region have already seen over an inch of rain in the last 12 hours.

Additional rain and thunderstorms are likely as low pressure travels from its position over northern Indiana early this morning across Upstate New York this afternoon.

The main areas at risk will be the heart of the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier, and into portions of Central New York that saw heavy rain yesterday.

Further north and west, there will still be plenty of rain today. However, the chances for torrential downpours will be less. These areas also generally did not see heavy rain last night.

Heavy rainfall rates over one-inch per hour will be likely within any embedded thunderstorms. These will be slow moving and prone to repeatedly moving over the same areas. Rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches will be common across the orange ‘Level 3- Elevated’ risk zone. One or two highly localized areas could see even more.

This will lead to areas of moderate flooding. A few road closures are possible, along with water in basements and small streams coming out of their banks. Urban areas will also be prone to flooding as storm drains are unable to keep up with the deluges.

Every year, videos get posted to social media of people driving through fast moving flood waters. Do not do this! There is no telling whether the road is still there, or if it has been washed away. Most flooding related deaths occur in vehicles. Driving through flood waters not only puts you at risk, but the first responders that will end up trying to rescue you. If you come across a flooded roadway, call 911 and find an alternate route.

The flood risk will become greatest during the late morning and early afternoon hours. Much of the heavy precipitation will move east by 2 or 3 PM. Additional flooding from run off will be possible for an hour or two after the rain ends.

Additional showers and a couple downpours will continue through the evening and overnight, but these should not be as widespread or as intense as rain earlier in the day. Some minor flooding could result if a particularly heavy shower moves over a previously hard hit area.

The bottom line on today’s risk is this: numerous areas will see minor flooding and a few could see more significant flooding. Pay attention to your surroundings, have an action plan, and do not drive through floodwaters. Most of us will not encounter serious flooding today, but it is better to be prepared ahead of time.

Dry Stretch After Heavy Rains

There is good news in the forecast as well.

Behind today’s weather system, high pressure will build in for a few days of dry, comfortable weather.

Some fog and drizzle will be possible early Friday morning, but the atmosphere will gradually dry out. By Friday afternoon, sunshine should work through the clouds with clear skies likely by evening.

A gusty northwest wind will blow on Friday, keeping temperatures near or below 70 degrees.

Saturday will be similar. Expect plenty of sunshine, some gusty northwest winds, and highs around 70 degrees. The wind will slowly dissipate through the day.

Sunday will warm up as the northwest wind ceases but abundant sunshine continues. High temperatures should reach the mid and upper 70s.

Monday, too, could end up mostly dry before some showers work in late in the day. Warm, humid air will settle in for the rest of next week, keeping a chance for scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms in the forecast.

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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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.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Charles Fausold
    |

    Over a half an inch in 15 minutes just now in Hector.

  2. […] rainfall rates over one-inch per hour will be likely within any embedded thunderstorms,” FLX Weather Meteorologist Drew Montreuil said in an update Thursday morning. “These will be slow moving and prone to repeatedly moving over the same areas. Rainfall […]

  3. […] rainfall rates over one-inch per hour will be likely within any embedded thunderstorms,” FLX Weather Meteorologist Drew Montreuil said in an update Thursday morning. “These will be slow moving and prone to repeatedly moving over the same areas. Rainfall […]