A strong low pressure system north of the Great Lakes will push a front eastward across the Finger Lakes today.
Out ahead of the front, winds will continue to be blustery and showers will be commonplace. This will be the case through the morning hours with on and off bouts of rain. South and southeast winds will gust over 30 mph at times with localized gusts to 40 mph, mainly over higher terrain.
There may be a slight lull in the precipitation immediately ahead of the front during the late morning and midday hours. The front will be marked by a narrow yet intense band of rain and gusty winds.
This rain band will make its way through the Finger Lakes during the first half of the afternoon, though it will probably slow its speed some as it heads into the eastern Finger Lakes and Central New York. Additional rain may develop behind the band, particularly over the eastern half of the region, which could last into the evening hours.
Rainfall amounts will be variable, and there may be some pockets that fail to reach a half-inch. This will be most likely between about I-390 and Seneca Lake. This area is not yet seeing the steadier rains this morning, is the most likely area to see a lull later on, and will likely miss out on late afternoon and evening rainfall.
The highest amounts will come east of Cayuga Lake, where over an inch will be possible. These areas will see the band later, when it is more developed, and have the best shot for continued rain well into the evening.
Of course, localized variations will be commonplace, so the above generalities may not apply everywhere.
Temperatures today will only add a few degrees, but are already mild to start the day. Look for highs in the low and mid 60s during the early afternoon, followed by a drop to the mid 50s in the mid to late afternoon as the front moves through.
Winds will also greatly diminish as the front clears the region. There may even be a period of calm winds this evening before south winds increase to over 5 mph overnight. Skies will eventually become partly cloudy tonight, allowing temperatures to drop into the low and mid 40s.
Mild Weekend Followed by a Shot of Cold
The low pressure system over Canada will remain in place through the weekend. Since this is a large, mature storm system, it has already delivered its initial shot of cold air across the middle of the continent. As the air continues to spin around the low, the warm and cold are mixing more, decreasing the pool of available cold air.
That, combined with the almost immediate return of south winds due to the low’s stalled out position to our northwest, will result in very little cooling in our temperatures.
Dry air will also wrap around the low and into our region, leaving skies partly to mostly sunny for much of Friday and Saturday.
Temperatures will take a small dip tomorrow with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s. Saturday, however, will push into the upper 60s once again. Overnight lows will mostly stick to the 40s. The best chance for some cold pockets in the upper 30s will be in the western Southern Tier.
Saturday night, after midnight, clouds will thicken, and some rain showers will pass through the region. These will be associated with a bundle of atmospheric energy rotating around the low. The models seem a bit inconsistent with the nature of this system, so rainfall amounts are uncertain, yet will most likely remain quite light.
A few showers may linger into early Sunday, but most of the day will be a mix of sun and clouds. Some cooler air will start to work in with highs in the mid 50s.
By Monday, the parent low will dissipate, but give birth to two new systems. One will quickly shoot northeast towards Greenland, but the second will drop into the Great Lakes. Rain will increase across the region in response on Monday.
At the same time, high pressure will move across central Canada, opening up a channel of cold air that will feed directly toward the Finger Lakes.
The low will redevelop along the New England coast early Tuesday, then curve back to the west and sit just north of New York State Tuesday and Wednesday before dissipating Thursday.
This pattern will keep temperatures cold and lake effect common through the middle of next week. Most of what falls in the Finger Lakes should stay as rain, but some early and late day and nighttime snowflakes will be possible. Highs Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly Thursday will be stuck in the 40s with nighttime temperatures well into the 30s.
There may be a quick turnaround on the backside of this cold, with temperatures near or above average next weekend and into the following week.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.