Clouds and a couple showers Thursday interrupt otherwise sunny stretch

finger lakes weather forecast thursday september 24 2020 clouds showers warm weekend weather
Today will bring clouds and even a few showers before several more sunny, warm days. Active weather continues to look possible next week, but the details are highly uncertain. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Subtle Energy Impulse

After days on end with high pressure dominating our weather pattern, a bit of activity in the atmosphere will bring some clouds and a couple showers today.

The clouds this morning are on the fringe edge of the remains of Tropical Storm Beta. While that system is centered over southern Mississippi, a southerly flow on the backside of the high pressure system now off the coast of the Carolinas and ahead of a weak low moving into the Midwest has brought some moisture northward.

These thin clouds will stick around for most of the day, filtering the sunshine at times. Temperatures will be a bit slower to rise compared to recent days, but should still push well into the 70s.

This afternoon, a small piece of atmospheric energy will enter in from the west. This may touch off a few scattered showers and perhaps a rumble of thunder. Areas west of Keuka Lake have the best shot at seeing rain, but some showers may survive long enough to make it further east, too. None of the rain should be long-lasting or overly beneficial.

Skies will gradually clear tonight as everything presses east and a new high pressure system builds in across the Great Lakes.

This high will keep us sunny and dry for Friday, Saturday, and possibly Sunday as well.

Temperatures will continue to trend upwards, with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s on Friday and Saturday. Assuming Sunday stays sunny and dry, highs could push well into the 80s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday september 24 2020
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Next Week’s Uncertainties

For the last few days, I’ve been pointing to Sunday as our day of change due to the expected passage of a cold front. That is looking increasingly unlikely with most of the European model ensembles abandoning the idea completely.

The general pattern thereafter will be for unsettled weather next week, especially Tuesday and Wednesday. However, there are some major issues regarding the models at this point in time.

The model runs are inconsistent with the evolution of the pattern next week, especially in regard to the path and strength of low pressure systems.

The overnight run of the European model, for example, shows a very strong low developing over the Great Lakes as multiple systems converge. Such a system would bring strong winds and heavy rain to our area.

As currently modeled, this system would break September pressure records in the northern Great Lakes if it verified. This far in advance, seeing something so extreme is usually a big red flag that there is too much chaos in the model.

The previous run of the same model had a much weaker system moving into New England, a significant difference that also signals a high amount of uncertainty and chaos.

The European ensembles do show a spike in rain amounts, averaging out to about a half-inch, centered around the middle of next week. A closer examination shows several ensemble members with excessive rainfall, and several with very little or delayed rain, further reinforcing the uncertainty.

So, what does this all mean for now?

We will probably see rain next week, especially in the Tuesday-Wednesday timeframe. Temperatures will be cooler, especially toward the end of next week. But, don’t get caught up in any premature hype about heavy rain, strong winds, or the likes.

I’ll certainly continue to monitor the projections for next week and will continue to update on its evolution.

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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. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.