More unhealthy air Friday; Storms increase through the weekend

finger lakes weather forecast friday june 30 2023 smoke unhealthy air quality showers thunderstorms humid
Air quality will remain a concern through Friday Night with showers and thunderstorms becoming increasingly likely this weekend as humidity increases. [Photo by Leah Shafer, taken in Interlaken]

Continued Air Quality Concerns

An expansive area of smoke continues to blanket the Finger Lakes and surrounding areas from Michigan to the Mid-Atlantic.

Winds have shifted to the south today, but that will only serve to keep the smoke in place over our region as the broader area of smoke only slowly erodes away from the south.

Air quality this morning is uniformly in the Red—Unhealthy range throughout the Finger Lakes and upwind across Pennsylvania. These Air Quality Index values between 151-200 are unhealthy for all and appropriate precautions are recommended.

» I continue to highly recommend using for current Air Quality Information

No change in the air quality is expected throughout the day today or into the evening. It is not until after midnight tonight that smoke concentrations will slowly start to diminish. Some light smoke may even linger through Saturday morning, though I suspect the air quality will be at least somewhat improved.

The smoke today will again impact the temperatures. Instead of the mid and even upper 80s showing on the models, most areas will stick to the 80-85 degree range, and some areas may not even be able to get above 80 degrees.

The humidity will not be impacted, however, with dewpoints rising into the 60s late this afternoon. There may also be a few stray showers and rumbles of thunder late this afternoon and early this evening. While all the areas are at risk for these showers and storms, the best chance for rain seems to be west of Seneca Lake.

A few more showers may be possible around dawn Saturday, but the rest of the nighttime hours should be quiet. Overnight temperatures will stick to the mid 60s.

Saturday will have a mix of sun and clouds until afternoon showers and thunderstorms develop. The best chance for storms looks to be between 4-8 PM.

There is disagreement on the model regarding how numerous and organized the storms become. The trigger to fire storms up is weak, but if the storms do get going, there is a chance for some isolated severe weather with small hail and strong winds.

Temperatures on Saturday should reach a high in the low 80s with dewpoints well into the 60s. Overnight temperatures will drop to the mid 60s with scattered showers continuing.

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast fri jun 30 | fri, smoke a late storm low 80 | sat, showers and t-storms low 80 | sun, showers and t-storms upper 70 | mon, showers and t-storms near 80 | tues, a few showers low 80 | wed, sun and clouds mid 80 | thur, sun and clouds upper 80
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected. Click to enlarge.

Stormy Until the 4th

Sunday and Monday will both also have chances for showers and thunderstorms. These two days seem more likely to have widespread precipitation at times during the day.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible as early as Sunday morning and will continue off and on throughout the day. There may be a lull during the late morning and midday, which could help the afternoon storms along.

The atmosphere will not be as unstable on Sunday, so lightning activity will be modest and severe weather is not expected. The atmosphere will be dripping with moisture, though, so heavy downpours and localized flood concerns will be possible.

Temperatures on Sunday will generally be near or under 80 degrees thanks to the clouds and showers. Dewpoints will increase to around or just above 70 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will be in the mid and upper 60s.

The atmosphere will have a little bit less moisture on Monday, but widespread showers and storms will once again develop, primarily in the afternoon. Locally heavy downpours will persist, and depending on how the rain over the next few days evolves, could serve to escalate any flooding concerns.

Temperatures will hover around 80 degrees with dewpoints around 70. Nighttime temperatures will once again stick to the mid and upper 60s with scattered showers continuing.

Tuesday is July 4th and our region should see some improvement in the weather.

The amount of moisture in the atmosphere as a whole will drop significantly, though surface dewpoints will remain in the mid and upper 60s. Scattered showers will be possible, but the rain should be lighter, shorter, and much less widespread than over the weekend or on Monday.

With less cloud cover and fewer showers, temperatures will nose into the low 80s.

Dry weather is expected for Wednesday and Thursday next week with temperatures rising. A few areas may be pushing 90 degrees by Thursday.

More active weather is expected late next week or next weekend as the next storm system rolls through the area.

It is nearly impossible to make a guess at what the smoke will be doing next week.

More Information:

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Finger Lakes Weather Radar

» Zip Code Forecasts

» Your Forecast

» Get the FLX Weather Mobile App

finger lakes weather 7-day forecast fri jun 30 | fri, smoke a late storm low 80 | sat, showers and t-storms low 80 | sun, showers and t-storms upper 70 | mon, showers and t-storms near 80 | tues, a few showers low 80 | wed, sun and clouds mid 80 | thur, sun and clouds upper 80
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.

4 Responses

  1. Bill Calhoun

    Another one; maybe better;

  2. Bill Calhoun

    This is a good site for air quality as well:

    • Meteorologist Drew Montreuil

      Thanks for sharing Bill. I’m going to keep looking into that source. Two cautions I have about what I am seeing there so far:

      – They are not following the standard terminology for equating AQI to risk. For example, when I clicked the link, it gave Ithaca an AQI of 164 but labeled it in purple and “very unhealthy”, whereas the standard is for 164 to be red and “unhealthy” with the purple, “very unhealthy” label reserved for AQI >200. This is confusing. Either they have some legitimate but untransparent reason to be more dramatic with their wording… or it’s just fear-mongering.

      – It is not clear where this data is coming from. Besides clicking your link, I was unable to navigate to Ithaca or any other FLX city on their website, and their maps are all interpolation with no point data. Is the 164 showing for Ithaca modeled? Observed? Where is it observed?

      What I especially like about the map I keep pushing is that it shows the point data so people can not only see what the closest point to their location is reporting, but other points as well, rather than having a value displayed for a location as if it were truly representative of the location, but in actuality comes from areas far away (which is what the dial chart on shows).

      • Bill Calhoun

        I just look at the current AQI number. I live in Lansing, but Ithaca was the best I could do. It gives me an approximation anyway for the general area.