Strong winds develop tonight as potent weather system moves in

finger lakes weather forecast thursday march 19 2020 wind rain thunderstorms cold weekend
The daytime hours today will be quiet, but winds will increase tonight with showers and a few thunderstorms overnight into Friday. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Calm Before the Storm

Rain associated with an area of low pressure near Pittsburg this morning has already moved out of the Finger Lakes.

Clouds will linger behind this system even as new clouds work in ahead of the next weather maker.

The daytime hours will be spent in this middle-ground between the systems. A warm front that connects the two will inch northward before pushing through tonight.

Most of today will be quiet, therefore, with clouds and perhaps a couple brief glimpses of sunshine. No daytime precipitation will fall.

Temperatures will be a bit warmer than yesterday thanks to a light south wind. High temperatures will range from the low 50s in the higher elevations of the I-81 Corridor, to the upper 50s in Rochester and the Genesee Valley. Most of the area will be in the mid 50s.

South winds will increase this evening and should become rather gusty by midnight. Higher elevations and areas west of I-390 will see the strongest gusts, clocking in at over 40 mph.

As the warm front moves through, scattered showers will push into the area. A few downpours and rumbles of thunder are also possible, especially in the northern half of the region.

Temperatures will slip into the upper 40s and low 50s this evening, but will rise behind the front. Upper 50s and low 60s will be in place by dawn Friday.

Roller-Coaster Weekend

Wind speeds will drop slightly early Friday, only to increase further during the midday and afternoon hours. Many areas will see gusts to 50 mph with locally higher gusts possible. These winds will shift slightly to the southwest until they turn west late in the afternoon.

Some breaks of sunshine will be possible on Friday, but much of the day will probably end up cloudy. The chances for rain will drop in the morning but increase again in the afternoon with scattered showers.

A few thunderstorms will also be possible, especially if some sun works out. A few localized damaging wind gusts will be possible in these storms, given how much wind energy is in the atmosphere. While extremely unlikely, even the tornado risk is slightly greater than zero.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday march 19 2020
Click to enlarge.

Temperatures will rise into the upper 60s for most of the Finger Lakes. If a little sun shines, 70 degrees would be possible.

And then everything changes.

The shift to west winds late in the day will mark the passage of a powerful cold front. Temperatures will quickly tumble through the 50s, 40s, and into the 30s during Friday evening. By dawn Saturday, it will only be in the low and mid 20s.

Winds Friday night and early Saturday will still be breezy, but not as strong, with gusts in the 25-35 mph range.

Skies will turn bright and sunny early Saturday and remain as such throughout the day. Sunday will also be very sunny with few, if any clouds.

Temperatures will not respond to the sunshine though, with highs both Saturday and Sunday in the 30s. Sunday will probably end up a couple degrees warmer than Saturday.

Cold air is likely to hold on into Monday with highs again in the 30s. A low pressure system will pass by, bringing some snow to the area. Depending on the strength and path of the low, at least minor accumulations will be possible.

Temperatures will moderate thereafter with highs expected to be back in the 50s by Thursday.

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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.

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