Sunny Thursday but rain concerns return late Friday

finger lakes weather forecast thursday october 28 2021
Sunshine will be plentiful today but another rain event Friday night is looming. [Photo by Debbie Curtis]

Sun Before Rain

High pressure has control of the Finger Lakes for today, resulting in a fine late October day.

Morning temperatures are chilly, but close to the seasonal averages, with widespread 30s in all but a few lakeshore locations. Skies are generally clear except for some fog in the river valleys of the Southern Tier and a few stray early morning clouds.

Sunshine will be the rule today with just a few thin clouds, mostly coming in late in the afternoon. Winds will be light at under 5 mph. Near Lake Ontario, the wind will be from the northeast, while in the Southern Tier, it will be more southeasterly.

High temperatures will be near average or just a smidge above. The wind direction will help reverse our typical temperature distribution, with warmer areas approaching 60 across the Southern Tier and cooler areas in the mid 50s near and north of I-90.

It will not be quite as cold tonight as winds turn more southeasterly and increase, and some additional thin clouds move in from time to time. The best chance for some upper 30s is in Cortland County, while low and mid 40s will be widespread for the rest of the region.

Friday should start with some sun, but clouds will gradually increase and thicken. Southeast winds will increase to around 10 mph with gusts of 20-25 mph. Temperatures will peak during the early afternoon with most places in the mid 50s.

Rain and Flood Concerns

Rain showers will move in from southwest to northeast during the late afternoon and early evening. This rain event will be shorter and much less intense than the rain earlier this week, but flooding may still be a concern.

The heaviest rain will likely come during Friday evening and the first part of the overnight. Six-hour rain amounts could push towards an inch for some areas, and 12-hour rain amounts by Saturday morning could be around an inch and a half.

Not all areas will see these rain amounts, but they do not necessarily look uncommon, either. If the flash flood guidance, which is a model of how much rain the soil can absorb before flooding begins, can be trusted, these amounts will not cause significant flooding.

However, there are localized factors that can reduce the threshold before flooding, and leaf-clogged drains can quickly lead to urban and poor drainage flooding. I also feel that the flash flood guidance did an overall poor job earlier this week and overestimated the flooding threshold.

These factors, and a slow increase in the expected rain amounts, have me watching the situation closely. In the end, though, I am optimistic that there will not be too many issues. Be sure to check in for more updates Friday morning.

Rain showers are likely throughout Saturday. These will be on and off with generally lighter amounts falling. Additional, new flooding Saturday is unlikely.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday october 28 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Trick-or-Treat Forecast and Weather Next Week

Temperatures on Saturday will have an east-west split as low pressure tracks north through the region. The cutoff between warmer and cooler air will probably set up somewhere around Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. To the east, highs will reach the upper 50s. To the west, low 50s and even some upper 40s are expected.

A few rain showers will linger into Sunday morning but should pull out and end by the afternoon. Some late sunshine is possible with partly cloudy and dry conditions for trick-or-treating on Sunday evening.

Most areas should get into the mid 50s on Sunday, though areas east of Cayuga Lake may be a bit cooler if the clouds linger there. Winds will be turning to the southwest late in the day, so it should not get too cold too fast Sunday evening. Look for mid 40s in the Southern Tier ranging to near 50 degrees near lakeshores.

A few showers may move through after midnight Sunday night, followed by some lake effect in the far northeastern Finger Lakes early Monday. Most of Monday will be dry with a mix of sun and clouds. Highs will be in the upper 40s and low 50s.

On Tuesday, a cold front will move into the region. Temperatures will drop as rain moves in, and it could get cold enough for a few flakes to mix in over higher elevations. Rain amounts should stay light, so flooding will not be a concern.

Behind this front, it will be cold with daytime highs mostly in the 40s or even 30s. Nighttime temperatures will drop below freezing. No frost or freeze alerts will be issued as the growing season is considered over, but if you still have plant life going, it will probably not make it through next week.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Zip Code Forecasts

» Your Forecast
finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday october 28 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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.