Imagine provided by Friends of Stewart Park

ITHACA, N.Y. — For those who could afford in hours and dollars to escape to someplace cooler this holiday week, your time and money will be well spent. Hot, humid conditions will be in place for much of the week ahead, and we can’t discard the possibility of some new Canadian wildfire smoke intrusions as the week goes on. Hope you’ve stocked up on the cool drinks and frozen treats.

Your Weekly Weather

An upper level trough is draped across Upstate New York, and this boundary will enhance instability in our local column of atmosphere. Given the high humidity, there is a lot of moisture in the atmosphere, technically called “precipitable water”. In practice, what this means is that it’s humid, and when it rains, it pours.

This is important to keep an eye on because when it rains, it will rain hard. There is some there is some risk of flash flooding under heavier thunderstorm cells that may develop. Keep an eye out for flash flood warnings; don’t attempt to cross roads with water ponding over them (a.k.a. “turn around, don’t drown”) and be wary of storm drains, culverts, or anything else that might be clogged or overgrown with vegetation and at risk of flash flooding. Low-lying areas and creekside properties should also keep a watchful eye on the rainstorms.

Overall, most of the area can expect 0.25-0.50″ through tonight at a minimum. Rain will steadily taper off after sunset, though the risk of showers will never completely go away overnight. Skies will be overcast and it will be humid, with lows in the upper 60s.

The trough of low pressure remains parked over Upstate New York for Monday. Expect some scattered showers and thunderstorms, especially during the afternoon hours where the high sun angle can really provide energy to trigger storm development. New rainfall amounts will be in the 0.25-0.50″ through sunrise Tuesday, with locally higher amounts. It will be muggy and mostly cloudy with highs in the lower 80s. Monday night will host mostly cloudy and humid conditions, with a few scattered showers. Although temperatures will only bottom out in the mid 60s, the high dewpoint means some valley fog will still be possible.

As the trough begins to move out in to the east-southeast Tuesday, skies will become sunnier. However, some scattered showers and thunderstorms will remain in the area, and it will be oppressively muggy, with dewpoints in the 70s alongside highs in the mid 80s. Tuesday night will see showers and storms taper off, leaving mostly cloudy skies and humid lows in the mid 60s. Smoke may move back into the region from Canada, but it’s too early to provide specific with regards to air quality impacts.

High pressure builds in from the southwest for Wednesday. While skies will be dry and mostly sunny, that southwest flow will also produce very steamy conditions. While highs will be near 90, it will feel more like the mid 90s with that humidity. Wednesday night will be mostly clear and humid with lows in the mid to upper 60s.

A frontal boundary begins to approach from the west Thursday. The majority of the rain and storms will hold off until late in the day, with mostly sunny skies into the late afternoon. With highs in the lower 90s and dewpoints in the 70s, it will feel like it’s close to 100 F, so do take precaution and reschedule any exercise or strenuous work outdoors, and make arrangements for a place to cool off and avoid that torrid July heat. Scattered showers will move in from west to east Thursday night, with partly cloudy skies and lows in the upper 60s.

The front moves through Friday, which will brings rounds of rain and thunderstorms under mostly cloudy skies. It will be sultry with dewpoints in the 70s and highs in the mid 80s. Showers taper off behind the front Friday night, though it still remains rather humid. Skies will be partly cloudy with lows in the low to mid 60s.

Next weekend is looking to be warm and humid, with a high to the west and a trough of instability to the southeast. Both Saturday and Sunday will host the chance for some pop-up showers and thunderstorms later in the day, with highs in the low to mid 80s. With the loss of diurnal heating, these will wind down to a few isolated showers and storms overnight, with lows in the lower 60s.

Graphics courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Looking into mid-July, the large-scale weather pattern calls for a jet stream ridge over the Western United States, and a trough to the easy. This configuration will result in hotter-than-normal conditions for the Mountain West, and trap continental heat in Texas, which has already been sweltering under a heat dome of high pressure. In Tompkins County, though, conditions are expected to be cooler and wetter than normal.

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