Warmer today as smokey sunshine persists

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday september 16 2020 sun smoke cold front
Temperatures will climb warmer today, but not as high as they would were it not for the persistent smoke. A cold front tomorrow will push away the smoke and set up a chilly weekend. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Warming South Winds

High pressure will remain in firm control of our weather for one more day before a cold front moves through.

South winds on the backside of the high and ahead of the front have kept most areas from getting nearly as cold as yesterday. These winds will also help give temperatures a boost today.

Wind speeds will be around 10 mph today, with gusts around 25 mph.

Skies will be clear, except for the continued presence of upper atmosphere smoke. Temperatures yesterday were a couple degrees cooler than forecast, thanks to the smoke, so expectations for today need to be nudged down slightly.

A few areas will still approach 80 degrees, namely in Monroe, Wayne, and Ontario counties. Mid 70s will be more common.

The wind speed will not drop much this evening, though the wind direction may become more southwesterly. Temperatures will drop through the 60s and into the 50s, with the northern half of the region staying in the upper 50s, while the south sees mid and low 50s.

Scattered clouds will drift through overnight, but no rain is expected until the front moves in early Thursday.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday september 16 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Cold Front Sets Up Chilly Weekend

The cold front will slide through the Finger Lakes during the first half of the day tomorrow with little fanfare. Rain showers will be few and far between, and even those that see rain will not see much.

Perhaps the most noticeable aspect of the frontal passage will be the clearing out of the smoke as our air starts getting sourced from Canada on north winds. The wind will not be overly strong, with speeds under 10 mph and gusts only 15-20 mph.

Skies will be rather cloudy, but breaks of sunshine and increasingly blue skies are likely, especially in the afternoon.

Temperatures will not be able to rise beyond the low and mid 60s before the front moves through tomorrow morning. The one exception will be from Elmira to Ithaca to Cortland, and areas southeast. Upper 60s and low 70s will be possible here before the front tumbles temperatures. Most of the afternoon will be spent in the upper 50s and low 60s.

Mostly clear skies will return as early as Thursday night and persist through the weekend and into next week. Some occasional clouds may pass through, but by and large, it will just be sunny.

The smoke models only simulate 48 hours into the future, but the upper level wind pattern looks as though it will stay northerly through the weekend. This should prevent the smoke plume from returning to our region, but time will tell if that is truly the case.

The clear skies will lead to several cold mornings with chances for frost. Friday morning lows should mostly stick to the 40s, but 30s will become more widespread Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and possibly even Tuesday morning.

Daytime highs through the weekend will also be cool. Friday will be in the upper 50s to near 60 with mid and upper 50s Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures will slowly creep back upward early next week, with highs approaching 60 on Monday, into the low 60s Tuesday, and finally jumping back into the 70s Wednesday.

The next chance for rain looks to be late next week, but that is only showing on about half of the European Model Ensembles, which means it cannot be counted on to actually happen.

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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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 and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Valerie
    | Reply

    Do you think that we will continue to see this mostly dry pattern into October? I am getting frustrated and concerned due to the lack of rain we’ve had for so long here in Auburn.

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
      | Reply

      Unfortunately, I don’t see any reason to think anything will change anytime soon… 🙁

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