Areas of Storms
A frontal boundary is moving into the area this morning and will wobble back and forth over the next couple of days.
As small impulses of energy move along this front, areas of scattered thunderstorms will be possible. There are three main periods to watch for showers and storms over the next 48 hours.
The first will come in the mid and late afternoon hours today. The focal point for scattered showers and storms will be over the southern half of the region, but especially from the southern tips of Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes southward.
The first activity should begin to pop up between 2-3 PM with several small clusters moving east through the area until sunset. There is a small chance for some strong thunderstorm winds and localized minor poor drainage flooding.
To the north, rain is much less likely.
Skies will be a mix of clouds and sunnier breaks throughout the day. It will not be as warm as yesterday thanks to west and northwest winds. Most places will be around 80 degrees, though mid 80s will still be possible from Elmira to Binghamton.
The second period will be during the predawn and early morning hours as the front lifts back to the northwest. A broad area of rain and embedded thunderstorms will just clip the northwestern corner of the region.
The best chance for rain here will be in the Rochester area, but a few stray showers may make it as far southeast as Penn Yan, Geneva, Auburn, and Syracuse.
The final period will be late Thursday afternoon and into the early evening. This is the least certain of the periods, yet also has the greatest chance of being a robust setup.
A line of thunderstorms is expected to develop late in the day, stretching from northern NY back into eastern Ohio. How quickly and completely this line develops will play a key role in how the weather evolves in the Finger Lakes.
With the current expectations, if you bisect the Finger Lakes on a southwest-to-northeast diagonal, it is the southern and eastern half of the region that has the best shot at seeing thunderstorms develop. However, the storms may remain isolated to scattered even here and the line may not become solid until it is beyond the Finger Lakes.
The atmosphere will be capable of supporting organized strong thunderstorms with damaging winds as the primary threat. This will continue to be something I will monitor closely, and I should have at least a slight increase in confidence in its evolution for tomorrow’s blog post.
Temperatures will jump back up on Thursday, thanks to the front moving north. Highs should make it into the mid 80s for most areas.
Staying Unsettled This Weekend
Let’s take a quick deviation from the thunderstorms and talk about the Northern Lights. The media for days have been hyping up a Northern Lights event Thursday night.
Forecasts for the Northern Lights are notoriously tricky and inaccurate, even a few hours out, let alone days in advance. Sure enough, the latest actual forecasts (not media hype articles) are not quite as impressive as they were, so my skepticism remains high.
That being said, like many of you, I am still holding out some hope, so now let’s look at the clouds. Unfortunately, it is not looking great, with additional clouds and a few showers Thursday night as the front works its way back through the region.
The later into the night it gets, the better the chances for some clearing, so it may take a lot of patience and coffee to even have a shot at the Northern Lights, should they appear at all.
Clouds and a few showers will be around on Friday as well, but there is uncertainty about how many there will be and how long they will stick around. It should not be a washout of a day by any means, however. Temperatures will retreat to the low 80s.
Saturday and Sunday will both have chances for showers and thunderstorms. Saturday is looking warmer than Sunday with isolated to scattered storms. Sunday may have more widespread showers and storms and has a better chance of becoming a washout of a day.
As usual, there is a fair bit of uncertainty this far out, so stay tuned over the next couple of days.
There will be a couple chances for rain next week, but as a whole, it looks like most of these will be quick one-and-done events. Most of the time will probably end up dry.
Daytime temperatures next week should remain in the 80s, with 60s during the overnight.
This graphic represents an average over the entire Finger Lakes region. Localized variations should be expected.