Strong cold front brings a chilly weekend, but no meaningful rain

finger lakes weather forecast thursday september 17 2020 cold front dry weather
A cold front will move through today with very little rain, but plenty of chilly air for the weekend. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Frontal Passage

A strong cold front will move through the Finger Lakes today, bringing in the coldest air mass so far this season, but with little in the way of rain.

Clouds and a southerly breeze have kept most areas in the Finger Lakes above 50 degrees overnight. A few pockets of 40s exist in the Southern Tier, where clouds have been slower to move in.

The front will make its way southeast through the morning and midday hours. Temperatures will rise into the 60s ahead of the front by midday but will slowly drop back to around 60 degrees this afternoon.

A few light showers and patches of drizzle will accompany the front. Most areas will not see rain, and those that do will not see anything meaningful.

Clouds should linger much of the day, but some breaks of sun will become possible later on. Skies will slowly clear tonight, though far southeastern portions of the region may hang onto some clouds for most of the night.

Overnight temperatures will depend on the cloud cover. For areas that clear, low and mid 40s are possible. Areas that stay cloudy, however, should stay in the upper 40s to low 50s.

North winds will blow at 10-15 mph on Friday, with gusts as high as 30 mph, as high pressure begins to push into the region.

Skies will be mostly sunny and blue, as the front will also sweep away the upper atmosphere wildfire smoke.

Many areas will stick to the upper 50s for highs tomorrow, though a few places will manage to get to 60 degrees.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday september 17 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Chilly Weekend Weather

Light north winds will continue Friday night beneath clear skies. Temperatures should range from the low 40s near lakes to the mid 30s in the valleys of the western Southern Tier and in the I-81 region south of Syracuse. Some patchy frost is possible.

The wind on Saturday will remain from the north but will be lighter than Friday. Wind speeds should be around 5 mph, with gusts mostly under 20 mph.

Skies will remain sunny and temperatures brisk. Highs will range from the mid 50s in higher elevations to the upper 50s elsewhere.

Saturday night will be colder than Friday night. Widespread frost will be possible Sunday morning as a result, with many areas dropping into the low and mid 30s. As usual, areas near the lakes will be warmer, but could still drop to near 40 degrees.

The daytime hours Sunday will be nearly the same as Saturday, with light winds, sunny skies, and highs in the mid and upper 50s.

Monday will start off frosty yet again with more widespread low and mid 30s. Daytime winds will remain from the north, but the pocket of cold air overhead will start to dissipate. Highs may return to the low 60s as a result.

Frost may be a bit patchier on Tuesday morning, but will still be a concern for many. Winds may turn to the northwest and increase, but this partially depends on the path of Hurricane Teddy, which could make its way into eastern Canada or even New England.

Regardless, low and mid 60s are likely on Tuesday, with a return to the 70s thereafter for the middle of the week.

The next uncertain chance for rain will come late next week, but it does not look impressive or meaningful at this time.

Longer range models hint at continue dry weather deep into the fall season, and until I see something convincing to change our multi-month pattern, that seems like a safe albeit undesirable bet.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Cdr an Mrs John Gregoire

    Horrid drought here Drew and as bad as 2016, Main pond is down 27inches and we have not had any meaningful rain here. After hauling water to gardens all summer, the chance of frost ( we are always about 7 degrees less than predictions) up here is real and kind of a kick in the teeth after the horrible summer. ‘Hope you and yours are well and coping with this new way of life. John (near Mecklenburg but on the high ground SW)

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Sorry to hear that, John. I feel for you. We got some land last year and have been trying to establish some trees and a pumpkin patch. I’ve been hauling buckets, too, since we don’t have running water yet. We also got the pumpkins in later than desired, so the prospect of frost now is really disappointing.