Hot, humid air leads to heavy thunderstorms this afternoon

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday june 22 2022
Locally damaging thunderstorm winds and dangerous flash flooding are possible this afternoon. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Multiple Hazards Wednesday

A hot and humid airmass will fuel thunderstorms this afternoon as a cold front moves in and merges with a preexisting, stalled-out frontal boundary.

Heat Advisories are in place for the northern and western Finger Lakes for the counties served by the National Weather Service in Buffalo. This includes, from southwest to northeast, Allegany, Wyoming, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, and Wayne counties.

Temperatures will quickly warm this morning in these areas with highs pushing into the low or even mid 90s. With dewpoints around 70, heat index values will reach 95-100 degrees.

Further east, temperatures will still reach the upper 80s to near 90 degrees, with heat index values to the mid 90s. Mid 80s are expected in Cortland County.

Thunderstorms should start to fire up by 2 or 3 PM, both along the approaching cold front over the western Finger Lakes, and along the stalled out front over the central and eastern Finger Lakes.

As these storms first fire up, there will be a small risk for some severe thunderstorms, mainly with a few localized damaging wind gusts.

The two areas of storms will merge, causing a band of slow-moving, repeated thunderstorms for a couple of hours during the late afternoon. This could cause excessive to extreme amounts of rain to fall. Hyper localized amounts as high as 5 inches are possible, though not a guarantee to happen.

Once rainfall amounts get to about 2-3 inches, flash flooding will begin. Rainfall amounts of 4 or 5 inches could cause serious, life-threatening flash flooding.

This is most likely in the areas under a Flood Watch for this afternoon, which from southwest to northeast include: Steuben, Chemung, Tioga, Schuyler, Tompkins, Yates, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Cayuga Counties.

The chance for heavy downpours will continue into the evening before gradually tapering off before midnight. Residual flooding may continue into the overnight, as will the potential for pockets of dense fog that develop after sunset.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday june 22 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Quieter Weather

The frontal boundary will drift eastward for Thursday, setting up over eastern New York. This will be just close enough for a few scattered showers to linger across the Finger Lakes, especially from Seneca Lake eastward.

There should also be some sun breaking in and out of the clouds tomorrow, especially during the latter parts of the afternoon.

Temperatures will come down for Thursday with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. Dewpoints will be lower as well, spending most of the day in the upper 50s. Skies will turn mostly clear during the evening and overnight, with lows dropping to the mid and upper 50s.

Friday and Saturday will both be sun-filled days with only a few clouds here and there. Rain will not fall either day.

Nearly calm, yet northerly winds will be present on Friday before turning to the south without increasing in speed for Saturday. Warmer air will seep in, with highs Friday mainly in the low 80s while Saturday rises to the upper 80s and low 90s.

Southerly winds will increase to around 10 mph on Sunday with an afternoon turn to the southwest. Sunshine through the early afternoon will help temperatures rise to the low and mid 90s. Dewpoints will rise into the mid and upper 60s through the afternoon, reaching about 70 by evening.

An approaching cold front will trigger late day and evening showers and thunderstorms. At this point, conditions do not look overly favorable for severe weather. Heavy rain could be a concern, depending on how today plays out.

The front will clear out before Monday morning, and much of next week will turn out dry and quiet. The next chance for rain will probably not come until late in the week.

Temperatures will retreat behind the front, with highs around 70 on Monday and into the mid 70s on Tuesday. The rest of the week should be into the 80s, but mostly the lower half of the 80s.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday june 22 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.