Tuesday-Wednesday Storm Threat
A late-season increase in severe weather potential is unfolding this week as a frontal boundary dances back and forth across our region.
This front will make its first pass through the region during the midday hours. This will give us a small window of opportunity for some storms today, mainly in the southeastern quadrant of the region.
Scattered showers and a few storms will develop during the late morning hours across the region and will quickly move off to the southeast. As they do so, they will strengthen and could become strong as they exit the region.
Areas such as Cortland, Ithaca, and Owego have the best chance for a stronger storm, but this chance remains small and on par with a Level 1- Isolated threat. Hail and strong winds are the primary threats.
The afternoon will clear out with increasing sunshine, decreasing humidity, and gusty northwest winds. Temperatures will top out around 80 just before the front rolls through, then settle in the upper 70s for most of the afternoon.
A stray shower cannot be ruled out tonight, and Wednesday will likely start out with low clouds and possibly some fog. Some sunshine should develop for the afternoon. Northwest winds will continue to be gusty, helping to keep temperatures in the mid 70s.
Wednesday evening, the front will start to push back, and showers and storms will be possible over the western portions of the region. These storms should stay near and west of I-390 but will again have a Level 1- Isolated risk for wind and hail.
Threat Peaks Thursday
The front will continue northeast Wednesday night, spreading more showers and storms across the region.
The big question for Thursday will be how far does the front make it before it starts to retreat south?
The current trend has been for the front to clear the region, opening us up to heat and humidity early Thursday. Temperatures could push above 85 degrees with very muggy dewpoints approaching 70 degrees.
This would give thunderstorms plenty of fuel to work with. The mid and upper levels of the atmosphere also look supportive of severe storms with strong winds and a favorable jet stream position.
The Storm Prediction Center has our region outlined in their Level 2 risk zone, but their discussion says we will probably be upgraded to Level 3 with tomorrow’s update. We have also been designated as an area prone for significant severe weather, the first such designation we have had this year.
Everything will come down to the position of the front and what sunshine we can get early Thursday, but the pieces are set, and this situation bears close watching over the next 48 hours.
The front will be to our south on Friday, giving us a day similar to Wednesday, but with highs sticking in the low 80s. Once again, the front will move back north late, bringing some showers and storms late in the day.
Saturday will bring one final chance for thunderstorms, but it is too early to tell how great the chance is or what severe threat there may be.
Cool air will move in for Sunday and Monday with highs near or just above 70 degrees.
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