Excessive Heat Watches posted for weekend scorcher

finger lakes weather forecast thursday july 18 2019 excessive heat watch heat index weekend heat
Thursday will be cloudy, but temperatures will still push into the 80s. Friday and Saturday will be dangerously hot.

Heat Building

A hot and humid air mass across the middle of the nation will push into the Finger Lakes Friday and Saturday.

Excessive Heat Watches have been issued for all of the Finger Lakes region in anticipation of the dangerous combination of heat and humidity

Before the core of the heat arrives, today will be rather cloudy as low level moisture lingers behind yesterday’s weather system.

A few showers will be possible from time to time with the chances for rain greater the further east you go.

Despite the clouds and showers, temperatures will reach the low and mid 80s as some of that heat begins to push in.

Late in the day, the sun should break out of the cloud cover, especially for western areas. The entire region should be partly cloudy overnight with south winds continuing to push warm air in.

Hazardous Heat Friday-Saturday

Temperatures will bottom out overnight around 70 degrees. Once the sun is up Friday morning, the temperatures will quickly rise.

By the mid-afternoon, many areas will be near or above 90 degrees. As usual, the I-90 corridor and lower elevations will be the hottest, while the higher terrain of Central New York and the western Southern Tier stay cooler. Mid and upper 80s are more likely for those locations.

The humidity will be brutal with dewpoints in the mid and upper 70s. This will produce heat index values between 95-105 degrees, which is high enough to be hazardous.

With all the heat and humidity, the atmosphere will become extremely unstable. Thunderstorms will not be able to punch through the warm air aloft until late in the afternoon as a subtle disturbance and/or the lake breeze off Lake Ontario provide sufficient lifting of the air.

A line of thunderstorms may develop after 4 PM and quickly move southeast across the Finger Lakes. If this line is able to develop, it will likely do so very quickly and will have the potential for heavy rain, very frequent lightning, and possibly some strong winds and hail.

The overnight period should be quiet, but warm and muggy with lows only reaching the low and mid 70s.

Saturday will turn out even hotter than Friday with more widespread 90s. Dewpoints will again be well into the 70s, yielding heat index values over 100 degrees for many areas. A few locations along the I-90 corridor could see heat index values over 105 degrees.

Record highs both days may be hard to come by given the prevalence of mid to late July heat in our climate record. However, this heat does deserve some extra attention since the humidity levels will be higher than usual. Please use common sense and take the heat seriously.

Heat Breaks

The usual definition of a heat wave is three or more consecutive days above 90 degrees. While there is still a chance of meeting that criteria, Sunday is looking more stormy than hot as a cold front moves into the region.

The front may move through early enough in the day to limit the precipitation to some scattered showers and storms during the morning or midday hours. This will continue to be monitored over the coming days.

Even if the daytime highs do not reach excessive levels, morning lows will still be very warm with widespread mid 70s.

Temperatures next week will be much more comfortable with mid 70s Monday and Tuesday with some upper 70s on Wednesday. Thursday may reach 80 degrees with low 80s on Friday.

Most of next week looks dry as well, though a few showers may work in late in the 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.