Rain, wind increase across the Finger Lakes

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday september 22 2021 rain wind cold front
The weather will become increasingly rainy and windy, culminating with downpours along a slow moving cold front on Thursday. [Photo by Joan Lockwood]

Slow Moving Weather System

Low pressure is developing along a cold front over the Ohio Valley this morning.

It will take all day for the low to move from about Cincinnati to Cleveland. Then, tonight, the low will track westward along the shore of Lake Erie, only making it to about Toledo by Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, out ahead of the low and its front, moisture continues to increase across the Finger Lakes with scattered showers moving in overnight

On and off periods of rain are expected today, with some steadier rain possible during the afternoon hours. The axis of moisture has set up a bit further east than expected, so most of the region should be solidly into the rain this afternoon.

Still, the western half of the region may see rain that is just a bit steadier and a bit heavier than the eastern half, leading to higher rain totals, in the west. Some areas could approach an inch of rain today alone.

Given the on and off nature of the rain, it is not really possible to pinpoint the hours it will rain in any given location. Expect rain today and know that the afternoon hours will probably have more rainy hours than the morning.

Winds today will be a bit stronger than yesterday, coming in from the southeast with speeds of 10-15 mph. Top gusts on the day will generally be around 30 mph, but higher elevations of the Southern Tier could gust as high as 40 mph.

Temperatures are most likely to be in the low 70s this afternoon. A few pockets of mid 70s will be possible if any sun pokes out between showers. This is most likely over eastern areas.

After sunset, the rain should taper off, but not completely end. Showers will become more scattered, especially after midnight. Winds will continue to increase, with gusts of 30-40 mph spreading east across the rest of the Finger Lakes. Temperatures will only drop a few degrees to the upper 60s.

The cold front will gradually trek across the region on Thursday. Just ahead of the front, winds will peak with gusts over 40 mph. A few areas in the eastern Finger Lakes could see gusts as high as 50 mph.

Accompanying the front will be a band of rain with heavy downpours and perhaps a few rumbles of thunder. This rain band will produce a widespread one to two inches of additional rain. Localized amounts over two and a half inches will be possible.

The front will take the entire day and into the evening to cross the region from southwest to northeast. You will know the front has arrived by the sudden calming of the wind and drop in temperature. Ahead of the front, temperatures will be in the low and even mid 70s. Within minutes of the frontal passage, it will be closer to, or even below, 60 degrees. This should happen very close to the onset of the rain as well.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday september 22 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Behind the Front

After the rain along the front comes to an end, skies will quickly. By early Friday morning, temperatures will have dropped into the low 50s for the northern half of the region, with mid and upper 40s to the south.

Friday will start off sunny, but the cold air aloft will interact with the daytime heating from the sunshine to produce numerous fair weather clouds by the late morning. Skies may become mostly cloudy for a time during the afternoon before the clouds disappear by evening. No rain is expected.

By Friday, the cold front will be to our east, but the low will still be tracking northward into Canada. Cool, dry air will wrap all the way around the low and will move into our region on southwest winds. These winds will increase after sunrise with gusts of 20-25 mph. To the west of I-390, gusts of 25-30 mph are more likely.

High temperatures Friday will range through the low and mid 60s. A few higher elevations may even get stuck in the upper 50s for highs. Dewpoints, which will be in the 60s from now until the front moves through, will be in the 40s.

Saturday and Sunday both look dry during the daytime hours. Small impulses of energy rotating around the low will bring a few showers both Saturday and Sunday night. This is still far enough in advance that the timing of these showers remains uncertain, though.

Temperatures may be able to get back into the low 70s on Saturday, despite a chilly morning where most areas dip into the 40s. Highs will retreat back to the upper 60s on Sunday.

Cool air will continue to entrench itself over our region with highs in the mid 60s Monday and low 60s Tuesday. A few more showers will be possible on Monday.

A couple more small disturbances may touch off some showers throughout next week. Temperatures will be autumnal with highs most days in the upper 50s and low 60s and overnight lows in the 40s. A few pockets of 30s could develop toward the middle of the week if skies clear during an overnight period.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday september 22 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.