ITHACA, N.Y. — Any week where I don’t have to reference snow, subzero temperatures or severe weather is a good week. By that measure, the weather for the upcoming week will be good. Some rain and a few weak thunderstorms are possible with the passage of a warm front into Wednesday, followed by a fairly dry and pleasant finish to the week.

Take the meteorological blessings where you can get them, folks.

GOES Satellite Imagery for Sunday afternoon, courtesy of NOAA NESDIS.

Your Weekly Weather

After the hot and humid weather of last week, this weekend has felt much more comfortable and perhaps even a bit chilly, with drier, cooler air in place as part of an area of high pressure currently over the western Great Lakes. With a low near Hudson’s Bay, the two systems have amplified the northwesterly flow of cooler Canadian air into the Northeastern U.S. behind yesterday’s cold front, now well to our southeast. Temperatures range from the upper 50s to mid 60s across our region. Differential heating and colder air at the mid-levels is driving some mild atmospheric instability, generally not enough to produce precipitation, but creating partly to mostly cloudy skies across upstate New York on this last day of May.

As the heat of the day dissipates with the setting sun, these instability clouds and isolated showers should dissipate as well. It’s going to be a quiet if cool night tonight, with partly cloudy skies and lows in the mid 40s.

Monday will be somewhat milder as the high pressure dives southeastward, channeling warmer air into its clockwise flow. That high will keep the air fairly stable, and by most regards Monday will be a very pleasant day, with only a few passing clouds and highs around 70°F. As the high shifts east of our longitude Monday evening, the flow of air will take a southerly turn, resulting in more moist but milder air for Monday night, with partly cloudy skies and lows in the low 50s.

Tuesday will be somewhat unsettled as a Canadian low pushes eastward, draping a weak but broad warm front across the Great Lakes. Ahead of the front, amplified southerly flow will lead to fairly cloudy skies and some scattered rain showers, and after its passage mid-day Tuesday, a quick reinforcing short wave (pulse of atmospheric instability) will keep things unsettled into Wednesday. Tuesday will be a grey day and you’ll want to have an umbrella, but don’t expect a washout, and temperatures should be comfortable, around 70°F across Tompkins County. Tuesday night will be cloudy with scattered showers, and that warmer, moist air should keep temperatures from falling much, only receding into the upper 50s for lows.

Wednesday will be rather unsettled as well. A second shortwave tracking behind the front (the low moves into Atlantic Canada and these shortwaves are like spokes around its “hub” core) will set off scattered rain showers and a possible thunderstorm or two in the afternoon hours. As warmer air works into the region, temperatures will be substantially warmer, into the low 80s for highs. Wednesday night should see the showers taper off behind the shortwave, and skies will be partly cloudy with lows around 60°F.

Thursday will be warm and dry. The Canadian low pulls further northeast and away from us, while a bubble of high pressures passes over the Southern Tier, keeping unsettled conditions over the Mid-Atlantic confined to our south. Expect partly cloudy skies and highs around 80°F. Thursday night will be mostly clear, with lows in the upper 50s.

Friday will be another quiet, warm day, perhaps a little warmer as high pressure near Bermuda expands westward and begins to steer warmer air into the Northeast. Plan for partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 80s. With dewpoints in the upper 50s, the humidity should be comfortable. Friday night will host partly cloudy skies and lows in the upper 50s.

Another weak disturbance may bring some showers in for Saturday, but at this time it’s not looking to be a major event, just scattered showers in between partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will be around 80°F. Saturday night will be partly cloudy with lows in the mid 50s, and Sunday will be partly cloudy with seasonably warm highs in the mid to upper 70s.

Graphics courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Looking into the second week of June, the general pattern seems to be for a deep trough in the jet stream over the Pacific Northeast, and a pronounced ridge over the Great Plains states with unusual heat for the Central United States. Here in the northeast, downstream of the ridge’s maximum amplitude we will see only modestly warmer than normal temperatures. but the air passing along the downstream flank of the ridge will also be quite dry, resulting in a fairly warm and dry period for mid-June. Not a bad time to escape for some camping or a cabin trip do help with that social distancing.

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