Frost concerns ramp up as Canadian high pressure builds in

finger lakes weather forecast friday september 18 2020 cool sunny frost advisory freeze warning
Cool air will dominate through the weekend with frosty mornings and highs mostly in the 50s. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Chilly Pattern

Frost Advisories and a Freeze Warning are in effect for parts of the Finger Lakes for Friday night, but more are likely to come over the weekend.

High pressure from Canada is building into the northern Great Lakes behind yesterday’s cold front. A few clouds are lingering behind the front, but skies should trend sunnier this morning. Skies will be blue, not hazy white, as the front has swept the wildfire smoke away, for now.

Some gusty winds will develop this afternoon as the high presses east and butts up against the remains of Hurricane Sally off the coast of the Carolinas. These winds will be from the north at 10-15 mph, with gusts around 30 mph.

The north wind will ensure a steady supply of cool air is moving south into our neighborhood. Highs today will range from 55 to 60 degrees. The last time Ithaca failed to reach 60 degrees was May 31st.

The wind will lessen, but not completely disappear tonight. The wind may prevent some frost formation, but this remains an uncertain detail, and it is better to prepare for frost in the prone areas than to assume the wind will prevent frost development.

The clear skies tonight will be the main factor in allowing temperatures to drop. Many areas will fall into the 30s, though near-lake locations may be able to stay above 40. Deeper valleys and geographic cold pockets through the Southern Tier and Central New York will fall into the low 30s.

» View the latest Frost Advisories and Freeze Warnings on the FLX Weather Alerts page

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday september 18 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Pattern Remains Into Next Week

There will be little change in our day-to-day weather through the weekend and into early next week.

Saturday and Sunday will both be clear, sunny days with lighter north winds. Sunday morning may start a couple degrees colder than tomorrow morning, and without the potential aide from the wind, frost and freeze conditions should be more widespread.

High temperatures Saturday will be in the mid and upper 50s. Nowhere is expected to make it up to 60 degrees.

Sunday afternoon could see a return to 60 degrees along and north of I-90, but most of the region will stick to the upper 50s.

Another frosty night is likely Sunday night, resulting in Monday morning lows closer to Sunday than Saturday. Winds will be light on Monday but should remain from the north or northeast.

Nonetheless, the pool of cold air overhead will be diminishing, so highs should make it into the low 60s for most areas.

By the time we get to Tuesday, some uncertainty starts to enter the forecast. First will be Hurricane Teddy, which will be approaching Newfoundland, Canada. If Teddy tracks far enough west, some thin clouds on the fringe edge could creep into the eastern Finger Lakes.

Also, the experimental smoke models show a large area of smoke stretching from north-central Canada to Texas by Sunday morning. The current runs of the models do not go out further than that, but it seems unlikely that we will miss out on some more smoke as that plume tracks east. When exactly it arrives is uncertain, but late Monday or Tuesday seems like the earliest possibility.

Despite these two factors, temperatures should continue to rise as our flow becomes more westerly towards the middle of next week. Highs Tuesday should solidly be in the 60s and 70s are a good bet for Wednesday and Thursday.

A small but uncertain chance for rain continues to show on the models for late next week, followed by a potentially more active pattern in the week after that.

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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. Rosy

    Does smoke from a fire ever dissipate or does it stay in the air indefinitely?

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      It will eventually dissipate…it just takes quite a while given how much smoke these fires produce.