Low to Minimal Flash Flood Risk Tonight

finger lakes weather forecast friday october 29 2021 flash flood risk map
Rain will move in this evening and come down hard at times, leading to a potential for isolated to scattered flooding problems in the Finger Lakes.

Friday Night Rain Forecast

A broad area of low pressure is tracking northeast through Tennessee and Kentucky this morning and will push an area of rain into the Finger Lakes tonight.

Out ahead of this system, clouds are starting to make their way into the region. Some of the clouds early this morning will partially burn off, so there will be some breaks of sunshine through the morning hours. This will especially be the case across the northern half of the region.

Eventually, though, clouds will thicken regionwide and the afternoon will turn mostly cloudy, but also mostly dry.

Southeast winds will continue to blow at around 10 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph. Warmer air has already begun building into the region and highs should easily make it into the mid 50s. The one exception may be for the western Southern Tier, where clouds will thicken first.

Rain showers will arrive from the south during the late afternoon and early evening hours. The further north and east, the later the onset of the rain. The rain will quickly become steady with several areas of heavier rain. Thankfully, the rain will be progressive, and the steady, heavier rain should move out after just a few hours.

Still, with the ground as saturated as it is, almost all of what falls will turn into runoff. Localized one-hour rain amounts could approach a half-inch, while three-hour amounts could approach an inch. Six-hour rain amounts, which will encompass the entire event, could go over an inch.

These amounts are all close to but generally below what the flash flood guidance indicates will cause flooding. The flash flood guidance is a generalized model, which means it can be wrong, especially on a localized scale in areas with steep terrain and in urban settings. This was certainly the case earlier this week.

The heaviest rain looks most likely across Steuben, Yates, Ontario, Seneca, Schuyler, and Chemung counties. I believe there is a low/scattered flash flood risk for these areas tonight. I also expanded this zone on my map to include Canandaigua, Geneva, and Ithaca, as urban flooding could be a particular hazard due to leaf-clogged storm drains.

Most of the remainder of the Finger Lakes has a minimal/isolated risk for flash flooding. This does not mean flooding will not happen, but flooding problems will hopefully remain few and far between and minor.

Since this is a relatively quick event, the degree of any flooding that does develop will hopefully stay relatively manageable.

Lastly, flooding at nighttime can be extra hazardous due to reduced visibility in the dark. Please use caution, respect any road closures, and remember to never drive through floodwaters.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday october 29 2021
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Weekend Showers, Turning Cold

This low pressure system will track overhead on Saturday. Scattered showers are likely throughout the day. The rain that falls will be lighter and additional flooding problems are not expected. There may even be some sunshine over the eastern half of the region at times.

Temperatures on Saturday will be split with cool air to the west and mild air to the east. Generally , areas near and west of I-390 will reach the low 50s, areas east of Seneca Lake will approach 60, and areas in between will be in the mid 50s.

Showers will linger into Sunday but should come to an end by the afternoon. Skies will clear by the evening but temperatures will not get too chilly. Daytime highs will mostly be in the mid 50s and evening trick-or-treat temperatures will be in the mid and upper 40s.

Cold air will settle in for next week. Highs Monday will be in the low 50s, but the rest of the week looks to be in the mid 40s at most. Nighttime temperatures will drop well into the 30s and even 20s.

No major weather systems are expected at this time, but lake effect showers will be moving to and fro throughout the region. Some of these may turn to snow at times, especially during the evenings, overnights, and early mornings.

The weather does look potentially more active toward the end of next week and next weekend, but it is too early and too uncertain to speculate on any details.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Zip Code Forecasts

» Your Forecast
finger lakes weather 7-day forecast friday october 29 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.