Hurricane Henri Local Impacts Update

finger lakes weather forecast saturday august 21 2021 hurricane henri
Hurricane Henri will make landfall Sunday afternoon and may eventually spread some rain into the eastern reaches of the Finger Lakes.

Hurricane Henri Impacts

Hurricane Henri is spinning off the coast of North Carolina and will accelerate northward today.

Models are coming into a decent consensus on landfall occurring in eastern Long Island Sunday afternoon. Henri should make a turn to the northwest before eventually being picked up by the jet stream and turned to the east on Monday.

What is less certain is how far inland the rain from Henri will make it and what impacts the eastern Finger Lakes may see.

For areas west of Cayuga Lake, the impacts from Henri should be minimal, if there are any impacts at all. Some scattered showers will be possible both Sunday and Monday, but flooding rains are unlikely.

To the east of Cayuga Lake, however, there is some concern. Not only did many of these areas get drenched early this week, but the chances for at least some rain are higher.

finger lakes weather forecast hurricane henri flood risk
The Weather Prediction Center is optimistic that flooding rains will stay east of the Finger Lakes. I am a little bit more nervous. Click to enlarge.

A widespread, heavy rain event like what we saw with Fred is highly unlikely. The rain shield may draw near but should mainly stay just east of the region. What I am more concerned with would be a band of thunderstorms developing outside of the main area of rain, either late Sunday and/or Monday afternoon.

Such a band could lead to repeated downpours over a given area. It would not take a huge amount of rain to bring flooding concerns back to the forefront for these areas.

At this time, the Weather Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, only brings the risk for excessive west rainfall to about I-81. However, anywhere east of Cayuga Lake should continue to monitor the forecast and the radar over the next few days. A slight shift to the west in the path of Henri could bring heavier rain closer to our doorstep.

Outside of Henri, there is also a chance for some downpours today which could also cause a few flood issues. These showers and storms are not directly related to Henri, but are a product of the southeasterly flow off the Atlantic that will also cause Henri to turn towards the northwest tomorrow afternoon.

Thankfully, the heavy rain today should be spotty enough that most areas will not see any additional flooding.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. Ted Schiele

    Hi Drew, Frequently you specify the location of weather patterns by Interstate highway, as you have here with Henri reaching as far west as I-81. Often you use the Thruway (I-90) as a marker, and even I-390. Is this merely a handy coincidence, or are the places that are good for building a highway, also by nature a geography that impacts weather patterns, such as a valley? Thanks! /Ted

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      It is actually a mix, Ted. For I-81 and I-390….it is usually just a coincidence, so I use them when it makes sense. For I-90 though…since the Thruway runs through the lake plains south of Lake Ontario, temperatures are by nature warmer there than areas further south most of the time…so I frequently use the I-90 corridor as a general location when talking about temperatures.