Scattered severe thunderstorms expected this afternoon

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday may 26 2021
Multiple rounds of thunderstorms will develop today with a few storms becoming severe. [Photo by Wendy Bandurski #redreamer]

Wednesday Thunderstorm Risks

An incoming cold front will clash with hot and humid air across the region this afternoon, triggering scattered thunderstorms, some of which will reach severe levels.

Periods of sunshine and steady southwest winds this morning will help propel temperatures upward in a hurry while dewpoints remain muggy. By the midday hours, temperatures will be reaching their highs in the mid 80s with dewpoints in the mid 60s.

This will set up an unstable airmass capable of supporting rapid thunderstorm development. Modest winds in the atmosphere aloft will help organize thunderstorms into small clusters capable of frequent lightning and damaging winds.

The first thunderstorm cells should start to develop sometime around noon. Additional storms will also develop during the midday hours.

The storms will remain scattered, forming into small clusters or line segments. A few of these will become severe at times, with damaging winds the primary threats. Hail is a lower threat, and the tornado threat is only slightly greater than zero.

In general terms, the southeastern half of the region has the best chance for severe weather. This is means roughly south and east of Geneva. The chances for severe weather are not a black and white, yes or no dividing line. It is a gradual gradient. The further north and west, the lower the chances. The further south and east, the greater the chances.

Given the scattered nature of the storms, many areas, even in the southeast, will not see severe weather today. Some may not even see rain. However, each storm should be monitored closely, and any warnings taken seriously. A severe thunderstorm watch is also likely for parts of the area today.

Remember, a WATCH means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms over a large area over the next several hours. A WARNING means a severe thunderstorm has been detected and will move into the area within the short term.

I will be posting live updates throughout the afternoon with the latest information and analysis.

Most of the activity will push east of the area by dinnertime. An additional broken line of brief showers will drop south during the early evening hours along the cold front.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday may 26 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Turning Cooler

Northwest winds will develop overnight, sweeping the heat and humidity away.

Thursday will turn out to be a pleasant day in the wake of the front. Morning lows will start in the lower half of the 50s, and afternoon highs will reach the mid 60s. Dewpoints will drop back into the 40s, leaving no trace of muggy air behind.

The northwest winds will continue to blow on Thursday at 5-10 mph. A few gusts over 25 mph will be possible. Skies will be a mix of sun and clouds.

Clouds will increase Thursday night in advance of the next weather system. Winds will turn to the north, then northeast, as temperatures fall into the mid 40s.

Rain will spread into the region Friday morning and become widespread and steady through the afternoon. It will likely rain for much of the daytime hours on Friday, with most areas seeing between one-half and one inch of rainfall.

Winds will remain from the northeast throughout Friday. With the steady rain, these winds will stall temperatures out, with temperatures mostly remaining steady in the mid and upper 40s throughout the day.

Much of the weekend will turn sunny and dry, though clouds will increase later Sunday and some late day rain may be possible. Highs on Saturday will poke into the low 60s, while Sunday reaches the mid and upper 60s.

Temperatures will rise back into the 70s for most of next week. The best chances for rain look to be later in the week.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday may 26 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. When not working or playing with the boys, he is probably out for a run through the countryside.