Smoke filtered sunshine beneath cool high pressure

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday september 15 2020 cool high pressure wildfire smoke
Skies will appear hazy from wildfire smoke again today while high pressure keeps our weather quiet and cool. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

High Pressure Overhead

A large area of high pressure will drift through the Finger Lakes today, keeping our weather quiet, albeit smokey.

The wildfire smoke that originated in Oregon and Washington is widespread across the northern half of the country and will continue to filter our sunshine through tomorrow.

There are no health concerns from the smoke, as it is locked high up in the atmosphere. You have to go all the way to western Montana and northern Idaho before the air quality is unhealthy due to smoke.

With the high overhead, there should be few clouds today and no rain.

Temperatures are very chilly to start, with widespread temperatures in the 30s and low 40s. These temperatures will start to come up as the high moves east and winds turn to the south. Look for afternoon highs today mostly in the upper 60s, but with locally warmer and cooler temperatures based on geography.

Wind speeds will be near or under 5 mph today before building to 5-10 mph tonight, still from the south.

The wind will prevent temperatures from getting nearly as cold tonight with overnight lows mostly in the low to mid 50s, but with a few pockets of upper 40s.

Wednesday will be like today with smoke filtered sunshine and little else. South winds will be around 10 mph and will push highs into the upper 70s and low 80s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast tuesday september 15 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Cold Front Thursday

Clouds will increase Wednesday night ahead of a cold front. Temperatures will remain in the mid and upper 50s Wednesday night thanks to the clouds and continuing south wind.

The front will move through early Thursday morning. Unfortunately, rainfall with the front will be scarce and light.

Sunshine will mix with the clouds on Thursday. With north winds and our air being sourced from Canada, the wildfire smoke should be swept away with the front and blue skies will return.

Temperatures on Thursday will peak in the mid to upper 60s. Widespread 40s and a few pockets of 30s are expected by Friday morning underneath clear skies.

Thin clouds will build in from the south on Friday on the fringe edge of Hurricane Sally. No rain is expected, though a few of the European model ensembles have started to show that as a possibility late Friday into early Saturday. At this time, though, it seems very unlikely that it will come to fruition.

Instead, more quiet, cool weather is ahead. Friday should see highs in the mid 60s, but Saturday will only reach the low 60s and Sunday may stick in the 50s. Even Monday could struggle to reach 60 degrees before temperatures start to rebound for the middle of next week.

Morning lows will also be cold, especially Monday and Tuesday, when widespread 30s and frost will be possible.

Sunshine and dry conditions are likely all through the weekend and much of next week




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.

5 Responses

  1. LiLynn Graves

    I absolutely love to read your forecasts! Thank you so much for your creative insight.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thank you for letting me know! 🙂

  2. Joyce

    Are the low temperatures also a product of the smoke?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      They actually are not. The smoke particles are small enough to have little to no impact on our temperatures. It would have been just as cold this morning with or without the smoke, and the daytime highs are also pretty much unchanged.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      I am going to revise my statement from this morning, Joyce. Temperatures across the board this afternoon are several degrees cooler than they should be. I am starting to think the smoke is blocking just enough of the sun to knock a couple degrees of our highs. I’ll be lowering my forecast for tomorrow accordingly…