Finger Lakes region goes on a warming trend this week

finger lakes weather forecast monday september 21 2020 cold warming trend sunny dry
Another week of sunny, dry weather is ahead as temperatures steadily warm. Rain chances will increase late in the weekend and into early next week. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Starting Cold

The new workweek is picking up right where the weekend left off with cold morning temperatures and areas of frost.

A large high pressure system has been meandering around the northern Great Lakes and northern New England since late last week. The sunny, crisp days and cold mornings that have resulted will gradually fade.

Winds today will be nearly calm beneath the high, but what little wind there is will have an easterly or southeasterly direction. The simple fact that the wind is not coming in from the north, like the last several days, will help temperatures to start creeping upward.

Most areas should reach the low or mid 60s today under bright blue skies. This afternoon, a patch of thin clouds will cross the region, but should do little to decrease the sunshine.

Clear skies tonight will lead to another cold night, but it will not be quite as cold as over the weekend. Some 30s are still likely through the Southern Tier and Central New York, but many areas closer to the Finger Lakes themselves will be near or just above 40.

After the cool start, temperatures will bounce back Tuesday. The models show upper 60s as a possibility, but another swath of wildfire smoke will pass through during the afternoon, so mid 60s are more likely. Before the smoke thickens, skies will be sunny.

A weather system over Canada will sweep the smoke away quickly for Wednesday, leaving partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies. West-northwest winds will pick up and could be a bit blustery as Hurricane Teddy moves into the Canadian Maritimes.

Nonetheless, highs on Wednesday should break into the 70s for most areas.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast monday september 21 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Warm Into the Weekend

Our sunny and dry week will continue with increasing temperatures as we head into the late week and early weekend timeframe.

Thursday’s sunshine will be filtered by some thin clouds at times as low pressure moving into the Upper Great Lakes causes moisture from Tropical Storm Beta to get sucked northward. No rain is expected, though.

High temperatures on Thursday should mostly range from 70 to 75 degrees.

By Friday, winds should be solidly in the southeast and south, pushing temperatures even higher. Look for a shot at 80 degrees for much of the northern Finger Lakes while the southern half reaches the upper 70s.

Friday, like most days this week, will be very sunny with no precipitation.

The forecast becomes less certain as we head into the weekend. A large low pressure system will develop to our west, bringing multiple chances for rain. The rain chances will steadily increase through the weekend and into early next week.

Some of the uncertainties at play will be rainfall from the remains of Tropical Storm Beta, and the timing of a strong cold front early next week that could lead to some late season severe weather if everything lined up.

What does seem likely is periods of strong winds and rain sometime between Saturday and next Tuesday, a continuation of temperatures in the 70s through the weekend, and another big shot of cold air for the final days of September and the start of October.

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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.