Afternoon thunderstorms interrupt high heat

finger lakes weather forecast thursday august 4 2022 hot humid showers thunderstorms
After discussing the possibility for nearly a week, it looks as though afternoon thunderstorms will indeed prevent temperatures from getting quite as hot as they would have otherwise today. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Hot and Stormy

For over a week, today has been advertised as a hot and humid day, but with the added uncertainty caused by potential afternoon thunderstorms.

The heat, and thunderstorm potential, is due to an approaching cold front that will slow down and dissipate over the region. Southerly flow out ahead of this front has been pumping warm air, and now humidity, northward.

Scattered showers along this front exist this morning from northern New York, across Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and back into Ohio, southern Michigan, and Indiana. Further east, across the Finger Lakes, some patches of clouds are mixing with the early morning sunshine.

The front will take its time pushing east, but a few showers may enter the region as early as the late morning. By the early and mid afternoon, thunderstorms will develop in the hot and humid airmass.

Because the timing of clouds, showers, and thunderstorms is trending earlier, the maximum temperatures and dewpoints are trending lower. This possibility has been discussed for as long as the high heat potential has been.

That is not to say it will not be hot. Highs in the low 90s are still likely in many areas. With dewpoints rising through the 60s towards the low 70s, the heat index will still be over 95 degrees. Precautions against the heat are still recommended.

The thunderstorms that develop through the afternoon will be in scattered clusters. Lightning may be frequent, and some localized heavy downpours and a few gusty winds are possible. A briefly severe storm will be possible, just because there is so much heat and humidity in place. Organized, long lasting severe threats are not expected due to weak winds aloft.

A couple more waves of showers and storms are possible through the evening and overnight hours. Some of this could linger into early Friday morning. Friday is trending drier with the earlier front arrival, though a few pop up showers and storms will still be possible. Most of the day will probably be dry.

Rainfall amounts will be highly variable due to the pop-up and slower moving nature of the storms. Localized areas may see over an inch through Friday, while other areas may see under a quarter-inch… or little to no rain at all.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday august 4 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Not Much of a Cold Front

The temperatures on Friday are a bit uncertain as the front moves through. The ratio of clouds and showers to sunshine, and the speed of the front, are uncertainties. Cooler air is likely across the northern and western Finger Lakes with highs in the low 80s. Further south and east, temperatures could break through to the mid or even upper 80s if enough sun works out.

These are purposefully vague location labels. The spread of the temperatures across the region is uncertain. The further south and east, the better the chance for higher temperatures.

It will remain humid with dewpoints at or above 70 degrees on Friday and into the weekend. This will keep nighttime temperatures at or above 70 degrees as well.

A few more stray showers and storms will be possible on Saturday. However, the chances for rain are much lower than today and tonight, and lower also than Friday. Areas that stay completely dry will outnumber those that see rain, and even where it does rain, it should only do so for a brief time.

Highs on Saturday will bounce right back into the upper 80s. Sunday and Monday will be warmer yet, with highs around 90 both days. Sunday and Monday will also have minimal chances for a few stray showers, but most areas will not see rain.

A true cold front will move through on Tuesday. The details this far out are still fuzzy, but conditions look favorable for widespread, beneficial rain. Highs will drop to the low 80s as the front moves through, with a couple days of highs in the 70s possible late next week.

More Information:

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finger lakes weather 7-day forecast thursday august 4 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.

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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.

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