First the sunshine, then the mild temperatures

finger lakes weather forecast friday march 19 2021 sunny weekend warmup
Clouds will be hard to come by at least until Tuesday. After a chilly day today, temperatures will quickly warm over the weekend. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Dominating High Pressure

A large, strong high pressure system is centered over the Great Lakes this morning and will be the primary influence on our weather for days to come.

This high is butting up against the low that brought the rain and fog to the area yesterday. The low is now off the Mid-Atlantic coast and will only indirectly be a factor today. Namely, the difference in pressure between the high and the low will keep winds breezy, especially this morning.

With the high to our northwest and the low to our southeast, winds are from the north this morning. Gusts of 25-35 mph will be possible through the morning, but the best chance for gusts over 30 mph will be across the southern half of the region.

The wind will gradually diminish this afternoon, then quickly become nearly calm this evening.

The north winds will hold temperatures down today, despite start to finish sunshine. The only clouds expected today are a few lingering thin clouds early this morning over the Southern Tier.

Nonetheless, highs will only reach the mid 30s this afternoon, with a few pockets staying in the low 30s.

The high pressure will slowly drift southeastward, expanding and becoming even stronger as it does. The core of the cold air will be pushed east, and warmer air will actually wrap all the way around the high and start to build in tonight.

This will keep temperatures in the mid and upper 20s overnight, despite very light winds and perfectly clear skies.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday march 19 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Sunny and Warm

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday will all be dominated by the high pressure system as it sets up to our east. Clouds will be extremely scarce all three days. Bright, sun-filled skies will be the rule.

Temperatures will quickly transition into a mild pattern as well. Highs on Saturday will be in the low and mid 50s. Sunday will reach the upper 50s to near 60 degrees. And Monday will add another degree or two onto that, with most areas at or above 60.

As I’ve mentioned the last couple days, afternoon relative humidity values will become very low all three days. On Sunday in particular, the relative humidity could be as low as 20%. This, combined with the sunshine, will help dry out the dead vegetation from last year and will pose a brush fire risk.

Working against the brush fire risk will be light winds. Even still, the annual NYS Burn Ban is in effect, and caution should be used this weekend.

Some clouds will finally move back in on Tuesday, but possibly not until late in the day. Temperatures will add a couple more degrees, with low and mid 60s throughout the region.

Wednesday and Thursday are less certain, with at least a small chance for some rain showers. If the rain becomes commonplace, highs may stick to the 50s. If the rain is spotty or outside of the region, even warmer temperatures will be possible.

The best chance for rain next week comes on Friday. Details this far in advance are uncertain, but there will at least be a chance for some heavier rain, strong winds, and just maybe some thunder.

Temperatures behind this system are less certain but generally look to stay on the milder side with no significant cold shots in sight.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

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This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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Meteorologist Drew Montreuil
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 and also run a goat milk soap business, Ye Olde Goat Cart. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.