Multiple hazard thunderstorms develop this afternoon and evening

finger lakes weather forecast tuesday july 13 2021 severe thunderstorms tornado flash flooding
Scattered severe thunderstorms will develop late today with a threat for damaging winds, flash flooding, and perhaps a tornado. [Photo by Scott Montreuil]

Scattered Severe Storms

An active afternoon is expected to unfold across the Finger Lakes today as waves of energy interact with a hot and humid airmass.

The stalled out front that kept most of the activity south over Pennsylvania yesterday has lifted north overnight. Winds have turned into the south, allowing hot and humid air to build into the region.

Skies are partly cloudy this morning, though the debris from some early morning thunderstorms over Pennsylvania will likely increase the cloud cover for a time during the mid-morning. This will especially be the case over the western two-thirds of the region. A leftover shower cannot be ruled out, either.

For the most part, though, the morning will remain quiet as temperatures build into the mid 80s by the early afternoon.

A few isolated thunderstorms will begin to pop up during the mid afternoon with storm coverage gradually increasing during the late afternoon and early evening hours. The overall storm coverage will remain scattered, so there will be areas that do not see a storm today.

For those that do, though, there will be multiple hazards present.

Firstly, flash flooding will be a concern, particularly in the areas that have been hit hard by heavy rain recently. It will not take too much rain to provoke flooding across the southeastern quadrant of the region in particular.

Thankfully, the storms will be progressive, so they should not linger too long in any single location. On the flip side, multiple storms could hit the same area, and even a single storm could quickly put down over an inch of rain.

Severe weather will also be a concern, particularly late in the afternoon and early this evening. Damaging winds will be the primary threat, especially in any clusters that can organize into small line segments.

However, there is also a tornado threat as low level winds turn more southeasterly or even easterly late today. Each of the last two days saw multiple tornado warnings issued across northern Pennsylvania, and a similar environment will set up across our region.

As far as I am aware, no tornadoes have been confirmed from the storms of the last two days in Pennsylvania, and the chances for any given location seeing a tornado are extremely low. Still, it will be something to watch for closely.

As always, any warnings that are issued, whether for flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, or tornadoes, should be taken seriously.

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

Late Week and Weekend

An area of low pressure will pick up the frontal boundary tomorrow and clear it from the region. Showers and storms are expected to develop as this feature moves eastward.

However, this system may clear the Finger Lakes before the atmosphere can become primed for thunderstorm development. The best chance for some showers or storms will be during the midday hours in the far eastern reaches of the region, with the focal point ending up far to our east.

Temperatures tomorrow will be in the low 80s with dewpoints remaining muggy in the mid and upper 60s.

Thursday will be a quiet day, though it will remain warm and muggy. Highs will be in the mid 80s with dew points in the mid 60s. Expect a mix of sun and clouds, and perhaps one or two brief pop-up showers over the higher elevations of the western Southern Tier.

Another front will approach the area later Friday. After starting with some sun, scattered showers and storms will be possible later in the afternoon and possibly into the evening.

Forecast confidence declines from there. The low pressure associated with the front Friday may be slow to move on, which could keep showers and storms into the forecast for the weekend.

Currently, I have decided to keep at least scattered storms in the forecast for Saturday but clear them out for a dry Sunday. This is subject to change, though.

As a whole, next week looks quieter, though there will be a day or two with some showers or storms. Temperatures will remain close to the seasonal averages with upper 70s and low 80s.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast
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.

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