Wildfire smoke, warmer temperatures returning to the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday september 22 2020 sun smoke warming trend
Wildfire smoke will return to the Finger Lakes today as temperatures start to noticeably rise. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

High Pressure Remains

The area of high pressure that has been dominating our weather since late last week remains parked over the region.

A low pressure system over Canada and Hurricane Teddy heading into the Canadian Maritimes will squeeze the high out, forcing it to redevelop over Tennessee and Kentucky this afternoon.

Neither of those weather systems will have a direct impact on our weather, but the high relocating to the south will open us up to warmer weather.

The clockwise flow of air around the high will bring air in from the Midwest through the northern Great Lakes, then down into our area on northwest winds. Today’s wind speeds will be 5-10 mph with gusts of 20-25 mph.

This pattern will bring in a plume of upper atmosphere wildfire smoke later this morning and into the afternoon. The smoke should not be as thick as last week, but still may hold temperatures down a couple degrees and block some of the sunshine with haze. Look for highs in the mid to perhaps upper 60s.

Winds will turn to the west and remain at 5-10 mph overnight, bringing in warmer air. A much milder night will result with lows mostly staying near or above 50 degrees.

On Wednesday, the wind will turn back to the northwest and increase to 10-15 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph. The smoke will move out, leaving a mix of sun and clouds early, followed by a mostly sunny afternoon.

Temperatures will push well into the 70s on Wednesday.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast tuesday september 22 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Looking Toward the Weekend

Mild weather will stick around through the end of the week and into the weekend.

Temperatures on Thursday will make it into the upper 70s for most. Areas along I-90, especially west of Geneva, have a shot at 80 degrees.

Thursday will have sunshine filtered through a batch of thin clouds. The clouds should clear out Thursday night, leaving Friday mostly sunny.

The sunshine and a light southerly breeze should push Friday’s highs into the low 80s throughout the region.

Saturday will be partly cloudy as temperatures stay warm. Most areas will be in the upper 70s, but low 80s will be possible along and north of I-90.

By Sunday, a few rain showers may finally start to show up as a cold front moves through during the afternoon. Some thunderstorms may even be able to develop. How Sunday unfolds remains uncertain, though.

The temperature will dive again behind this front, with 60s or even 50s for highs throughout next week.

There should be plenty of cloud cover and additional chances for rain next week, which will help keep overnight temperatures mostly in the 40s.

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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.