Incoming Autumn Storm
A strong area of low pressure over central Canada is dragging a sharp cold front through the middle of the continent while a sprawling high is just off the Mid-Atlantic coast.
Today will be a day of transition as the influence of the high wanes and the influence of the approaching storm system increases. For the most part today, that will mean an increase in clouds and winds.
The morning will still have a fair bit of sunshine with the first, thin clouds just starting to arrive from the west. Temperatures are highly variable this morning, ranging from pockets of mid 30s all the way to pockets of mid 50s. Most areas are starting out in the 45-50 degree range.
South winds will steadily increase this morning and will reach sustained speeds of 10-12 mph by the early afternoon. Meanwhile, clouds will continue to steam in and thicken, resulting in a cloudier afternoon.
Temperatures will be a degree or two cooler than yesterday, but some places will still manage to nose to or above 70 degrees. Mid and upper 60s will be widespread throughout the area.
There is a very small chance for a stray shower after 5 PM this afternoon and continuing into the evening hours. Anything that falls will be brief and light.
Winds will increase further this evening with speeds approaching 15 mph. Gusts to 30 mph will be possible, with gusts around 35 mph over the higher elevations south of Syracuse, the Bristol Hills, and other pockets of higher terrain.
Nighttime temperatures will only drop to the mid 50s with the clouds and increasing south winds. Showers will also increase after midnight and especially near dawn.
Rain will spread throughout the Finger Lakes Thursday morning out ahead of the cold front. Along the front itself, a narrow band of heavy rain and wind will develop, strengthening and slowing as it tracks eastward into the afternoon hours. Additional rain will also be possible behind this heavy band.
Though thunder and lightning will be minimal to non-existent, severe thunderstorm warnings may be issued for some scattered wind damage along the line. The tornado threat will also be greater than zero, and there is a precedent for tornado warnings being issued locally in October from similar situations last year.
Strong south winds will persist ahead of the front with gusts of 30-40 mph. Once the band of heavy rain passes, the winds will quickly turn to the west and north, weakening substantially. Temperatures, which will spend much of the day near 60 degrees, will drop to the mid 50s with the wind shift.
Not Very Cool… Yet
The rain will clear out Thursday evening and the weather will quiet down quickly as dry air wraps around the parent low pressure system and into the Finger Lakes. Temperatures will fall into the low and mid 40s Thursday night with skies becoming partly cloudy.
Friday and Saturday will both have a mix of sun and some clouds. Neither day should be as cloudy as today nor as sunny as yesterday.
Southwest winds will blow on Friday with speeds of 10-15 mph. The strongest winds will be over the southwestern quadrant of the Finger Lakes, where gusts could reach 30 mph across Steuben and Allegany counties. Wind speeds will be similar on Saturday with a due south wind.
Temperatures will be close to the seasonal averages with highs Friday in the upper 50s. Nighttime temperatures will fall into the low 40s with both cooler and warmer pockets, as usual. Saturday will be warmer with highs returning to the mid 60s.
A small weather system will pass through Saturday night and depart early Sunday. An area of rain showers will accompany this system, but sunshine should increase for the second half of Sunday. Temperatures will take a small hit, but still remain close to average with highs in the upper 50s.
Another storm system will move in on Monday with rain showers likely. While the storm system itself will not be as strong as tomorrow’s, it will have a much larger pool of cold air to work with. Highs on Monday will only be in the low 50s.
Monday night will see temperatures drop far into the 30s, even with clouds and lake effect precipitation being commonplace. Yes, this will mean snow will be possible in some areas, mixing in with the rain showers.
Rain and snow showers will continue into Tuesday with highs generally in the mid 40s. Some areas, however, may not escape the 30s. It will continue to be windy as well, with daily wind gusts around 30 mph.
Lake effect rain and snow will continue early Wednesday, but winds will begin to shift to the southwest. This will take the lake effect out of the area and will allow temperatures to moderate ever so slightly. Mid and upper 40s are expected Wednesday, with highs closer to 50 on Thursday.
Late next week and the following weekend, the cold air pool will move out and temperatures will quickly jump back towards the 60s.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.
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