Graphic courtesy of NWS Binghamton.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Hope you enjoyed this dry and warm weekend. It’s downhill from here, as a strong frontal boundary makes its way in for Monday, with heavy rain likely during the PM and overnight hours.

Graphic courtesy of NWS Binghamton.

Your Weekly Weather

Here’s your “fun” weather fact for the day – it’s looking like the Ithaca-Tompkins airport will go three days without reporting any measurable precipitation. The last time that happened? A stretch of four days from April 1st – April 4th. It’s been over two months since we’ve had a dry spell this long. Unfortunately, it will also be coming to an end tomorrow.

The culprit appears to be a broad storm system that will be sweeping in from the west as we head into the morning hours. The system has two low pressure cores, one over Canada and one in the Southeastern U.S. that will work in tandem with each other along a very lengthy trough that will result in a lot of moisture and instability injected into our corner of the atmosphere, meaning rain is coming, and it will be heavy.

Sunday night should remain dry, but clouds will thicken as the first wave of rain approaches ahead of the frontal boundary. Partly cloudy skies at sunset will be overcast my morning, with lows in the upper 50s.

By Monday morning, the front comes in from the west, with rain likely by 8 or 9 AM west of Ithaca, 9 to 10 AM in Ithaca itself, and a little later in communities to the east. Technically, this front could be considered a warm front, but temperatures won’t be all that different from today. What it will do, however, is unleash much more humid air into Tompkins County, which will allow for rain showers to persist through the afternoon and evening, with occasional downpours thanks to all the additional moisture aloft. So for your Monday, the primary bout of rain comes mid-morning, and highs will climb into the low and mid 70s under mostly cloudy skies with occasional periods of rain, heavy at times.

During the night Monday, the trough of low pressure will be pushing through, and with it a cold front aligned with a jet streak aloft. The front and jet will result in very unstable atmospheric conditions, and with the thick moist layer in place, we can expect some embedded thunderstorms and intense downpours from the time frame of 9 PM and 3 AM. If you’ll be out and about late Monday night, keep your radio on in case any flash flood warnings are issued, and be mindful if you live in a low-lying area or next to a creek prone to overflowing its banks.

Ithaca and towns north and west can expect 0.50-1.00″ of rain, while Danby, Dryden, Caroline, Tioga County and other areas southeast of the city should plan for 1.00-1.50″ of rain, most of which will fall in that late Monday night – Tuesday morning period. Otherwise, once the front passing through around 1-2 AM Tuesday morning, the rain should quickly wind down, with mostly cloudy and drying conditions by daybreak. Lows will be in the mid 50s.

It’ll quiet down for Tuesday as high pressure enters the region. It will be mostly cloudy early with decreasing clouds as the day progresses. A northwest breeze will hang around for most of the day, with temperatures a bit below normal, but still fairly pleasant given that it’s mid-June. Highs will top out around 70 °F. Winds will calm Tuesday night, with only a few passing clouds and lows around 50 °F.

Wednesday will be a little warmer as the high pressure shifts to our east and some milder air embeds itself in its clockwise flow. Those southerly winds should bring the temperature into the upper 70s with partly cloudy skies, though clouds will be more numerous in the evening ahead of the next low pressure system. Wednesday night will start off dry, but an area of low pressure passing over northeastward over the Great Lakes will bring a wave of rain in after midnight, so expect grey skies and wet conditions for your Thursday morning commute. Lows Wednesday night will be in the low 50s.

Thursday’s an unsettled day as the low passes to our northwest and another low passes along the Atlantic Coast, sharing energy and a broad shield of moisture. Expect mostly cloudy skies with scattered showers throughout the day as the lows move northeastward, with highs around 70 °F. The bulk of the rain shield should move out by around sunset, so apart from a few lingering showers, Thursday night will be mostly cloudy with lows in the low 50s.

Friday is going to be cool and a bit unsettled thanks to northwesterly flow from the low to the north. Expect partly cloudy skies with a few scattered showers and highs in the upper 60s. The low will continue to move away during the day, so by Friday night, we’ll settle into dry weather, with partly cloudy skies and lows in the low to mid 50s.

The weekend is looking good. With high pressure in place, it will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid to upper 70s, and lows in the upper 50s; another storm may approach by the end of the weekend, but we’ll let the models resolve that before making any forecasts. Ithaca Voice alumnus Mike Blaney will be tying the knot in town this weekend, and well Mike, you lucked out weather-wise. Given the damp weather so far this year, that’s rather remarkable.

Graphic courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Looking ahead into next week, it’s looking like the persistent trend of cooler and wetter than normal conditions will continue as a trough in the jet stream prevails over the Midwest, bringing cooler air to both them and places downstream in the trough such as the Northeast. With the jet stream fairly close by, storm systems riding along its flow will more frequently pass into the Southern Tier, resulting in greater than usual amounts of rain for the middle of the month and the end of astronomical spring. Que sera, sera folks.

Brian Crandall

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