Wednesday’s heat followed by some strong storms Thursday

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday july 10 2019 hot humid severe thunderstorms thursday july 11 2019
The heat will continue to build across the Finger Lakes with humidity levels increasing as well. A line of strong thunderstorms is likely Thursday afternoon. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil, Moravia]

Getting Hot and Humid

The high pressure system that has been overhead all week is sliding east, allowing for warmer and more humid air to enter the Finger Lakes.

Temperatures will rise quicker than the humidity with hot conditions across the area today. Most areas are starting in the 60s, but will quickly shoot through the 70s and into the 80s by the midday hours.

Afternoon highs will in the neighborhood of 90 degrees along the I-90 Corridor and in urban areas such as Ithaca and Elmira. Most other areas will be at or above 85 degrees. The higher elevations of the western Southern Tier will be coolest, topping out in the low 80s.

Dewpoints this afternoon will steadily climb into the mid 60s. While not oppressive, the humidity will start to be noticeable.

There is a small chance for a couple late day showers or storms to pop up as the humidity pushes in. These look most likely west of Seneca Lake and then along the I-90 Corridor after 4 PM. A couple light showers may also drift through overnight.

Dewpoints will continue to rise this evening and will sit near 70 degrees throughout the night. Since the temperature cannot drop below the dewpoint, overnight lows will struggle to get even to 70 degrees.

Thursday’s Thunderstorm Outlook

Sunshine Thursday morning will take the warm start and get us off and running once again. By the early afternoon, some areas could be pushing 90 degrees. Dewpoints will continue to run in the vicinity of 70 degrees.

This hot and humid air at the surface will help overcome some less ideal temperature profiles aloft, setting the stage for thunderstorm development in the afternoon.

Winds aloft are adequate for severe thunderstorms, but not indicative of a major outbreak of severe weather.

A line of thunderstorms should drop southeast through the region, arriving in Rochester during the early afternoon and exiting to the southeast before dinnertime. Frequent lightning, heavy rain, and a few areas of damaging winds will be likely. A severe thunderstorm watch over the entire region and several severe thunderstorm warnings targeting individual portions of the line will likely be needed.

Overall, this is a Level 2- LOW threat. All areas should see rain and most will at least hear thunder. Damaging thunderstorms should be limited however with mostly scattered tree damage expected. Should the threat look a bit better organized Thursday morning, an upgrade to Level 3- ELEVATED may be needed, most likely over the eastern half of the Finger Lakes.

A few showers will be possible Thursday evening. It will remain warm and humid behind the line of storms until a cold front moves in early Friday morning. Look for temperatures to remain near or above 70 degrees most of Thursday night.

The rain on Thursday will likely be our best chance for rain until late next week. Some scattered showers may be possible over the weekend and at times next week, but none of that rain is expected to be widespread, if it comes at all.

Temperatures will also remain warm and could be especially hot during the second half of next week.

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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.