A gargantuan high pressure system spreads across most of western Canada and is spilling into the eastern half of the United States.
Meanwhile, the low pressure that pushed record warmth into our region this weekend is quickly departing via northeastern Canada. Already, skies have cleared across the Finger Lakes.
As the high builds further south and east, our winds will shift to the west, then northwest today. The wind will be a bit blustery, but not as strong as over the weekend. Look for wind speeds around or just over 10 mph with gusts of 25-30 mph. The strongest winds will be along the shore of Lake Ontario.
Cool air will start to filter into the region as the winds shift but will not yet fully arrive. Many places will still end up around 60 degrees today. While not record-setting, this is still about ten degrees above average.
Skies will remain clear and sun-filled throughout the day and into the evening hours. Temperatures will quickly fall after sunset and overnight lows will range through the 30s.
A total lunar eclipse will occur in the morning twilight hours, with totality beginning at 5:16 AM, roughly an hour before moonset. There may be some thin clouds about for those looking to catch the blood moon, which will move in after midnight and move out shortly after dawn.
Winds will turn to the north on Tuesday, with speeds again around 10 mph but gusts limited to 20-25 mph.
The cold air ahead of the high pressure system will finally arrive in full, with a surprisingly chilly day given the start-to-finish sunshine and lack of fanfare announcing the cold air’s arrival. Many areas will not escape the mid 40s for highs on Tuesday, though a few of the typically warmer pockets may flirt with 50 degrees.
Skies will remain clear Tuesday night, sending temperatures tumbling into the 25 to 35 degrees range. But then, winds will swing around to the south and temperatures will moderate.
With full sunshine remaining on Wednesday, temperatures should bounce back to the mid 50s. Thursday will be even warmer, with highs in the mid 60s as a few clouds start to filter in.
By Friday, the weather will start to get very interesting as it only can at this time of the year.
There will be two systems to watch late in the week. First will be a healthy low pressure system developing over the Midwest and moving into the Upper Great Lakes. Second will be nearly formed sub-tropical storm Nicole.
Tropical cyclones have very distinct structures and features that are not found in non-tropical low pressure systems. A sub-tropical storm is a type of hybrid between a tropical and non-tropical low pressure. These systems tend to be larger in size than most purely tropical systems, even if they eventually transition over to the technical classification of a pure tropical system.
Nicole is newly developed this morning about 700 miles east of Miami. By Thursday, Nicole should be making landfall in eastern Florida as a strong pure tropical storm or minimal hurricane. Nicole will then turn northward.
Here in the Finger Lakes, clouds will increase on Friday as both systems approach from the west and the south. Rain, mainly associated with Nicole but also supported by the Great Lakes low, should arrive sometime late in the day.
Since we are dealing not only with a tropical system, which are notoriously persnickety in forecasting their inland behavior more than a couple days in advance, but also with a second system that will interact with Nicole, confidence in the details of this event cannot be counted on at this point.
However, there is a high chance for at least some rain, and the potential for heavy or even excessive rain needs to be monitored, especially Friday night into early Saturday.
No matter how this all evolves, this will be a pattern-changing system that will set up a new status quo moving forward.
Cold air will rush in behind the complex weather, plunging high temperatures to only near 40 degrees on Sunday. This will not be a temporary cool-down, either. For the foreseeable future, high temperatures are expected to be in a wintry feeling 35 to 45 degree range.
Needless to say, nighttime temperatures in this new regime will be even colder. Snow will therefore become increasingly possible, either from lake effect or from low pressure systems, and likely from both.
If you still have outdoor chores to do, this is the week to get them done.
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