Rain showers tonight and Thursday despite sunny start

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday may 18 2022 sun clouds rain showers weekend heat
Clouds will increase today with rain likely tonight into the first part of Thursday. [Photo by Meteorologist Drew Montreuil]

Unsettled Weather

An area of high pressure is moving through the Finger Lakes this morning, but the next weather maker is hot on its heels.

Skies are off to a sunny start with just a few thin cirrus clouds entering the western Finger Lakes. Over time this morning, additional clouds will filter in from the northwest, leading to an afternoon that is more cloudy than sunny.

A few rain showers may make their way into the area before the sun sets. The further west, the better the chance of seeing one of these showers. However, that does not mean areas further east will absolutely stay dry before sunset.

Any rain that falls late this afternoon should be light and fairly brief and probably will not be enough to interrupt many outdoor plans. The rain will then increase this evening with several hours of steady light rain possible.

The rain will become more showery after midnight and into Thursday morning. Later in the morning and during the midday hours, a few heavier downpours with a couple rumbles of thunder will be possible. These will move out by the early afternoon, leading to a little sun being possible before the end of Thursday.

With the high passing overhead today, winds will be nearly calm much of the day. Tonight, southeast winds will increase to 5-10 mph. By sunrise Thursday, the wind will become southerly, then southwesterly with speeds increasing to 10-15 mph. A few gusts to 30 mph will be possible. The wind will end up coming from the northwest Thursday afternoon with speeds gradually dropping.

Temperatures today will be warmer than yesterday but still a couple degrees shy of the seasonal averages. Highs will range through the 60s, with most areas ending up in the mid 60s. Higher elevations will see low 60s, while some upper 60s may show up in the Southern Tier.

This evening, the temperature will drop back through the 50s. As the winds increase overnight, the temperature will stall out around 50 degrees, then start to increase back to the low and mid 50s before sunrise. Highs on Thursday will mostly be in the upper 60s and low 70s.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday may 18 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Turning Hot

Friday will be a blustery day as south winds return and increase to near 15 mph with gusts over 30 mph. Those winds will bring in much warmer air and some humidity.

With mostly just some thin clouds mixing with the sunshine, Friday should see afternoon highs into the mid 80s. A few areas could reach the upper 80s, especially around Rochester.

One or two afternoon showers or storms may pop up, especially in the higher terrain of the western Southern Tier. Almost all the area will ultimately be dry on Friday, though.

With dewpoints rising well into the 60s and steady south winds continuing through Friday night, overnight temperatures will be very warm. Some areas may not even drop below 70 degrees, with mid and upper 60s commonplace.

This will get Saturday off to a running start with some impressive early season heat expected. Most areas should warm into the 90s, with some areas even approaching 95 degrees.

Geneva has a real chance at pushing its all-time May record high of 93. The records in Geneva only date back only to 1969, a relatively short time for a climate record. Ithaca, which has a much longer record, has its all time May record sitting at 96 degrees in 1911. It seems unlikely that it will be broken.

Rochester has an attainable May record, currently from 1987 at 94 degrees. Syracuse, like Ithaca, has 96 degrees as a record, this from 1977. Elmira is also at 96 degrees, but from 1996. Syracuse and Elmira have a higher chance of at least tying those records than Ithaca does.

There will be a chance for some afternoon pop up thunderstorms that could interrupt the chase for some of these records. However, there will not be much to trigger the storm development, so many places will probably stay dry on Saturday.

An approaching cold front continues to trend slower on the models, which is now resulting in hot weather sticking around until Sunday with an increasing chance for thunderstorms. Sunday remains highly uncertain, though.

Monday should be much cooler behind the front with clouds, a few early showers, and highs struggling to 60 degrees. Temperatures will make a quick turn around the 70s by Tuesday but may stick in the 70s for much of next week. Unsettled weather looks likely towards the end of the week.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday may 18 2022
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.