Rain chances shift to early Thursday but are uncertain

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday september 11 2019 clouds sun showers front windy weekend
Clouds and some sun will mix today after some early morning rain. More rain may be possible early Thursday, but remains uncertain. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Complex Weather Setup

Two low pressure systems connected by a front and a high pressure over Canada will all influence the weather over the Finger Lakes during the next 24-48 hours.

Early this morning, a band of rain moved through the Finger Lakes. This rain was the leftovers from thunderstorms that developed last night over the Great Lakes in association with the first low. That low is now located north of New England.

A frontal boundary extends west-southwest from this low back across Michigan and into the Midwest, where a second low pressure system resides. High pressure is located to the north of this low over Canada.

The south winds ahead of the second low are counteracting the north winds between the first low and the high pressure system. As today evolves, the front will pivot to a more northwest-southeast orientation and should set up near or over the Finger Lakes.

All this makes for a complex set up where a slight position change could be the difference between rain and no rain in the Finger Lakes.

For the rest of today, the call will mostly be for dry conditions. A stray shower may be possible here and there. Thunderstorm development is not expected later this afternoon, with most of the action taking place to our west and southwest.

It will still be a bit on the cloudy side today though there should be periods of sun breaking through. High temperatures will again push to near or slightly above 80 degrees.

The thunderstorms that develop this afternoon in the Upper Great Lakes will ride along the front overnight and into Thursday morning. These should either move into the Finger Lakes early Thursday morning, or just clip the southwestern areas. The position of the front will be the determining factor.

I am leaning more towards there being at least some shower activity in the area Thursday morning and possibly even into the early afternoon.

2 PM Wednesday Update- 

New model data is coming in and supports widespread rain throughout Thursday morning. I’ve updated the zip-code forecasts (see the bottom of this post to get your forecast) appropriately.

Regardless, Thursday should be cloudy and cooler with highs around 70 degrees.

Windy Start to the Weekend

The second low over the Midwest will not move much today or tomorrow as the large high pressure system noses eastward and blocks it. By Friday, the high will have strengthened and taken up a position off the coast of New England. The low will also strengthen as it slowly works north-eastward to a position north of the Great Lakes.

These two strong and opposite pressure systems will set up a period of gusty winds for areas in between, including the Finger Lakes.

Gusts of 25-35 mph will develop Friday morning, continue or even strengthen Friday night, and persist for much of Saturday.

For Friday, the winds will be from the southeast with a direct connection to moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. This should keep clouds in the area with a couple showers over the higher elevations.

Southeast winds tend to be cool for most of the region and highs will struggle to 70 degrees across the Southern Tier with low 70s south of I-90.

However, as the wind comes off the higher elevations of those areas and into the lower elevations along and north of I-90, it will have a warming effect. Mid 70s are more likely for highs in those areas.

Mid and upper 70s will be likely on Saturday as winds turn more southerly, then southwesterly. Clouds and a few scattered showers left over from thunderstorms Friday evening in the Great Lakes will prevent it from getting too much warmer.

The wind will lessen Sunday as a weak high pressure system moves in overhead. Despite the high, some clouds and perhaps a few showers may still be possible. Highs should be around or just above 70 degrees.

We are not done with the warm temperatures, however. Most of next week looks to be at least near 80 degrees, if not well into the 80s.

Did You Know?

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Alternatively, you can navigate to your town’s page (if it has its own zip-code) by typing flxweather.com/[your-town] into your browser, replacing [your-town] with the name of your town. For example, flxweather.com/ithaca or flxweather.com/penn-yan.

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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.

  1. Louise Bement

    You write that next week will be summer like. As a retired elementary school teacher I remember how hard it was to keep the children’s attention when it seemed like summer outside.