ITHACA, N.Y. — Let’s be frank – May hasn’t been very May-like. It’s been cool and cloudy, and more likely than not you’ve had to turn on the heat, instead of basking in the heat outside. That’s about to change.

As an area of low pressure continues to push eastward off the Atlantic coast, a Bermuda High will build in its place. What that means is a veritable conveyor belt of warm, somewhat humid air being pumped in from our southwest. It shouldn’t be too muggy, but it might feel a bit sticky in the heat of the afternoon, with dewpoints in the upper 50s to around 60 degrees. Temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday will make a run at 90 degrees for the first time this year.

If you hear someone crying, it’s only Jolene Almendarez, The Voice’s Texas-bred Managing Editor, sharing her tears of joy.

850mb anomalies 00z Thursday (8 PM Wednesday). Note the large warm anomaly over the Great Lakes, and cold anomaly over the Pacific Northwest. Image courtesy

Just a quick glance at climatology, the Ithaca area typically hits its first 90-degree day around June 25th. The earliest was April 28th, 2009, and the latest was October 2nd, 1927. We’re running about five degrees below normal this month, so the abnormal heat will help make up some of our heat deficit.

In general, the weather should be fairly mild to downright summery for the next few days. Tuesday will have a few passing clouds and will top out in the low-to-mid 70s for most of Tompkins County, with lows Tuesday night only tapering back to the upper 50s, as the warm air begins to wash over the region in earnest.

Wednesday and Thursday will certainly reach into the mid-80s in Ithaca, with 90 not totally out of the question, depending on the strength of those southwest winds. An isolated pop-up thunderstorm isn’t out of the question on Wednesday, but Thursday evening is likely to the stormier of the two days as a cold front passes east-northeastward over the region late in the day, giving the atmosphere some additional instability and triggering scattered showers and thunderstorms through the early morning hours Friday.

The atmosphere will be pretty juiced from the heat and divergent winds aloft, so there will be a need to watch for severe weather Thursday evening. Lows will be in the 60s both nights, with some upper 50s in outlying areas.

Friday and Saturday should be nothing short of picture-perfect, thanks to another high pressure areas over the Great Lakes. Expect a few passing cumulus clouds and plenty of rays, with highs in the low 70s. Sunday will also be in the 70s, but there is potential for a few showers and thunderstorms late in the day, as moist air from the Gulf of Mexico starts to enter the region.

Funny how when all the tourists are around, the weather turns so nice. A false sense of meteorological security if there ever was one.

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at