Hot with scattered storms late Saturday, midday Sunday

finger lakes weather forecast saturday may 21 2022 hot heat advisory thunderstorms
Several Heat Advisories are in effect for this afternoon while scattered severe thunderstorms will be possible late in the day.

Saturday Updates

Temperatures are rapidly rising this morning on their way to what will easily be the hottest day so far this year.

Meanwhile, a slow moving cold front off to the west may be just near enough for some late day showers and thunderstorms to pop up in the heat and humidity.

The National Weather Service has issued a handful of Heat Advisories. In the Finger Lakes Weather forecast area, these include Onondaga, Tompkins, Schuyler, Chemung, and Tioga counties.

Afternoon temperatures in the low 90s with dewpoints well into the 60s will result in heat index values in the mid 90s. Since this is the first big heat of the year, our bodies are less accustomed to the stress of the heat.

Much of the day will be dry, but after 4 PM, the chances for stray showers and storms will start to increase. The best chance for thunderstorms will come between 7 and 10 PM.

With the front still well to the west, there is no significant large-scale trigger for thunderstorm development. However, some energy leftover from storms across the Midwest last night and this morning may help spawn a few storms. There may also be some topographical influences that can trigger a few storms.

In all, many areas will probably not see a storm today, but scattered storms will impact some areas. Any storm that does develop will do so in an environment favorable for frequent lightning.

Short-lived, localized severe storms will be possible as well, with favorable temperature and moisture profiles above the surface for damaging wind gusts and hail. However, the winds aloft are not overly impressive for organizing long-lasting, widespread severe storms. The loss of daytime heating will also work against storms being able to organize well.

The Storm Prediction Center has put most of the region at a Level 2—Slight risk for scattered severe thunderstorms. We see several slight risk classifications each year. The chance for thunderstorms is lower across the southeastern Finger Lakes.

Sunday Updates

Uncertainty remains in the chances for thunderstorms Sunday, but most models are trending away from a meaningful event across the entirety of the Finger Lakes.

The cold front is expected to move through during the midday and early afternoon hours, sending temperatures from low and mid 80s during the late morning to the low and mid 60s by the mid-afternoon.

Thunderstorms will probably start to develop over the eastern Finger Lakes, roughly speaking east of Seneca Lake. A few may grow and intensify quick enough to become severe before moving out of the region, but the primary threat may end up to our east.

If the front is even a little slower and thunderstorms can begin to develop further west, the severe threat would increase across the area.

Either way, the primary window for concern will be from Noon to about 3 PM on Sunday and mainly for areas east of Seneca Lake.

Like today, the upper level winds are adequate but not great for storm organization, but the temperature and moisture profiles favor damaging wind and hail, along with frequent lightning.

I will have an update Sunday morning by the late morning, plus additional information for the storms today as necessary.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

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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.