Late showers and thunderstorms usher in Autumnal air

finger lakes weather forecast wednesday september 21 2022 sun clouds cold front late thunderstorms
Most, if not all, of the daytime hours will be dry today, but it will rain eventually as a cold front ushers in Autumn tonight, possibly with a bang. [Photo by Gwen Moshier]

Final Day of Summer

The final day of Summer will be mild and pleasant, with some late day or nighttime thunderstorms ahead of a cold front.

This cold front will then usher in a prolonged period of Autumnal air to mark the start of the new season.

Dry weather is expected throughout most of the daytime hours, if not all of them. Skies will be a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures will quickly rise on the back of a south wind. Wind speeds will increase through the morning to speeds around 10 mph with gusts around 20 mph.

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Temperatures will be near or above 80 degrees for many areas, including some mid 80s in Monroe and Wayne County. Higher elevations, especially in Cortland County and southern Onondaga County, have the best shot at sticking to the 70s.

After 5 PM, the focus will turn to the radar as showers and thunderstorms across Canada drop southeast towards the Finger Lakes. Uncertainty remains on the timing and coverage of the thunderstorms, and some models have really backed off on the threat.

Still, there is plenty of wind energy for thunderstorms to work with, so any that make it into the Finger Lakes before or around sunset will have at least a localized damaging wind threat.

Should storms arrive during the early to mid-evening hours, the damaging wind threat will be diminished. However, some hail, along with impressive lightning displays, will still be possible. If the storms are even later, towards midnight or the overnight hours, the hail threat will diminish, but the thunder may still wake you up.

It will rain eventually overnight, even if thunderstorms rumble through during the late afternoon or early evening hours. This will be in response to the cold front itself moving through.

By Thursday morning, temperatures will be falling into the 50s and may have a hard time reversing course through the morning and afternoon hours. Rain showers will be commonplace tomorrow, especially during the midday and afternoon hours. If a late morning lull in the showers allows some sun to work out, temperatures may briefly make it back into the low 60s before falling to the mid 50s by the late afternoon.

This chilly air will be coming in on stiff northwest winds of 10-15 mph with gusts around 30 mph.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast wednesday september 21 2022
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Welcome to Fall

The invasion of cool, autumnal air will not be a brief, one or two-day stay. Instead, the cold front tonight will usher in a significant and lasting pattern change.

Clouds, showers, and northwest winds will remain persistent through Thursday night. Usually, clouds, precipitation, and wind help keep nighttime temperatures from dropping too far. This time, however, the northwest winds will continue to pump cold air into the region.

Morning lows Friday will mostly be in the 40-45 degree range. Some areas along the shore of Lake Ontario may stay a bit warmer, but a few pockets could manage to slip into the upper 30s. In the Adirondacks, some higher peaks could see some flakes fly.

Showers will taper off Friday morning and skies will turn sunny. Still, the northwest wind will continue to bluster its way through the region, holding high temperatures in just the mid 50s for the first time since late April.

Friday night will be colder for most areas than Thursday night, thanks to clear skies much of the night. Some thin clouds may move in after midnight, and a light northwest wind will continue to blow.

As long as the wind remains, the potential for frost should be minimal, despite lows dipping into the mid 30s in colder pockets. Most areas will see lows in the upper 30s and low 40s, while near-lakeshore locations stick to the mid 40s.

The dome of coldest air will retreat on Saturday, leaving temperatures to rebound to the mid 60s. Skies will be a mix of sun and clouds. Clouds will increase Saturday night and winds will turn to the south. This should keep nighttime temperatures around 50 degrees.

Unsettled weather will begin to move in on Sunday with scattered showers. The threat of rain will persist through Monday and Tuesday as well. Temperatures will retreat a couple of degrees each day, and by Tuesday, will struggle to reach 60 degrees.

Temperatures look to remain mostly in the 60s as we head into October, though the overall pattern over the eastern United States could be interrupted by tropical activity from a not-yet developed system during the second half of next week into next weekend.

More Information:

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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.