Peak warmth today, windy cold front Friday

finger lakes weather forecast thursday march 25 2021 sunny warm windy cold front friday
A surge of warm air will push temperatures into the 70s today, but a strong cold front will bring wind, a few thunderstorms, and cooler air Friday afternoon. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Springtime Storm System

A classic spring storm system will keep our weather busy over the next two days.

An area of low pressure far to our north over Canada is connected by a boundary to a developing low over the Deep South. The first low pushed a warm front through the region yesterday, and the warm air will take full advantage of its opportunity today.

finger lakes weather forecast thursday march 25 2021 storm prediction center outlook
A high risk for severe thunderstorms, including long-track and possibly violent tornadoes, exists today across Mississippi, Alabama, and southern Tennessee. Click to enlarge.

Before we get to our warmth, the developing low will trigger another significant tornado outbreak for some of the same areas hit last week. After not issuing any Level 5- High risks in 2020, the Storm Prediction Center has issued its second in eight days across Mississippi and Alabama, with this risk also extending into southern Tennessee.

Numerous long-track tornadoes, possibly violent and destructive, will again be possible. During last week’s outbreak, there were thankfully no fatalities and only a few injuries, despite over 55 tornado reports. I only hope and pray today’s outcomes are as good.
finger lakes weather forecast thursday march 25 2021 storm prediction center outlook
A high risk for severe thunderstorms, including long-track and possibly violent tornadoes, exists today across Mississippi, Alabama, and southern Tennessee.

Here in the Finger Lakes, sunshine this morning will team up with a south wind to help temperatures rapidly rise. By the time clouds start to increase during the afternoon, temperatures will be in the low and mid 70s.

Clouds will continue to thicken as the south wind holds steady. Evening temperatures will slowly drop back into the mid and upper 50s, where they will remain through the overnight.

A few showers will start to enter from the southwest this evening. These will be scattered and quick moving. More widespread rain with embedded thunderstorms will move in during the predawn hours. Locally up to a half-inch could fall in any thundery downpours.

The rain will quickly move northeast and out of the area around dawn Friday. Some sun will be possible, along with a few more stray showers, through the morning. Temperatures will jump into the upper 60s.

The low pressure that will spawn the tornadoes today will take a path across western New York tomorrow. As it does, a cold front will move through the region during the midday and early afternoon hours. A few showers or storms could pop up, and I believe that a localized, minimal severe threat could briefly develop, especially across the northeastern Finger Lakes.

As the front passes through, winds will turn to the southwest and increase. Most areas will see afternoon gusts to or over 50 mph. The strongest winds will be contained to a Buffalo-Rochester belt, as is typical for this type of pattern. Here, gusts over 60 mph are likely.

Temperatures will fall Friday afternoon, ending up in the low and mid 40s by sunset.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday march 25 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Next Weather Systems

Saturday will be a calmer, quieter day. Winds will decrease through Friday night. By Saturday, wind gusts will be a typical 20-25 mph, coming from the northwest.

Morning lows will start in the mid 30s and afternoon highs will range through the 50s. Southern areas will be warmest, while areas right along the shore of Lake Ontario will only be in the 40s thanks to the cool, lake-modified air.

A new weather system will roll in for Sunday. Rain will overspread the region during the morning with showers lingering into the afternoon and evening. Some areas, especially higher elevations, will see the rain turn to light snow Sunday night, but with little to no accumulation.

In addition to the rain Sunday, winds will pick back up. The strongest gusts will come in the afternoon from the northwest, peaking at 40-45 mph.

Monday will be cool but sunny with highs in the low and mid 40s. This is actually pretty close to what average daily highs are for late March.

Warmer air will be quick to move back in with 50s on Tuesday and possibly 60s on Wednesday. A few showers will be possible Wednesday, with a better chance for rain to end next week. Temperatures will take another brief dip in the Friday-Saturday timeframe next week before jumping right back up.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday march 25 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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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 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.