ITHACA, N.Y. — The week will start off on the humid side as a warm front crosses the region Monday, but temperatures will fall below normal as a cold front comes in Tuesday night. The second half of the week will be pleasant, with abundant sunshine, mild temperatures, and comfortable humidity.

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High pressure over the Western Great Lakes is chipping away at the cloud cover across Upstate New York this quiet Sunday. It’s not strong enough to prevent cloud formation completely, but it’s stabilized the atmosphere such that there are only a few instability showers in Eastern New York, further from the high’s influence.

Fair-weather cumulus will create partly cloudy if tranquil conditions across Tompkins County to close out the weekend, with somewhat sunnier skies south of Ithaca where the cooler waters of the Finger Lakes stabilize the lower levels of the atmosphere and limit cloud development downstream of light north winds. Highs today will be a little below normal with that northerly flow, in the lower 70s for most of the area. Tonight will also be on the cool side, with partly cloudy skies and lows in the lower 50s.

Also, quick side note just to acknowledge it, but Hurricane Franklin is expected to curve out into the open Atlantic well before any meteorological impacts can happen in the Northeast.

A weak warm front will cross northeastward across the area Monday. This will create some scattered afternoon showers and a few non-severe thunderstorms, though overall precipitation will be light. It will also feel more humid. Highs will be in the mid 70s with mostly cloudy skies. Monday night will see scattered showers and some thunderstorms before midnight, with mostly cloudy skies and milder overnight lows in the lower 60s.

A cold front approaches from the northwest later Tuesday (this same front is what pushes Hurricane Franklin out to sea). Ahead of the front, with southwest winds channeled across the region, it will be warm and humid, with scattered showers and thunderstorms, and a moderate total rainfall. It will be mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 70s. The front will move through around midnight Tuesday into Wednesday. Showers will continue through the overnight hours, with lows around 60.

Wednesday will see showers end in the morning as the cold front heads eastward, with decreasing clouds and humidity as the day progresses. It will be unseasonably cool, with highs around 70. Wednesday night will feel brisk for August, with mostly clear skies and a north breeze. Lows will be in the low 50s in the valleys and urban Ithaca, but upper 40s are more likely in the higher elevations and outlying areas.

Thursday will see high pressure move overhead, which will temper the north wind. It will be mostly sunny with highs in the lower 70s. Thursday night will be mostly clear with lows in the low 50s.

Friday will be warmer as the high moves east and we end up in the south winds of the rear flank of its clockwise flow. It will be mostly sunny and comfortable with highs in the upper 70s. Friday night be mostly clear with lows in the mid 50s.

Looking into next weekend, a weak low pressure storm system is expected to pass ESE across Canada and over the Adirondacks, but it looks like there will be limited moisture available to it. Saturday is likely to be partly cloudy with highs in the mid 80s. Sunday will be partly to mostly cloudy with highs in the low 80s. Lows both days will be around 60.

Graphics courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Looking into Labor Day and the week beyond, the medium-range expects a pronounced ridge in the jet stream over the Central United States, which will pump lots of hot continental air from the Mexican Altiplano northward. Stifling heat will continue to hold its grip over the South-Central U.S., with dry conditions over much of the continental U.S. as well. In the Northeast, close to the downstream edge of the ridge, somewhat warmer than normal conditions are expected, with near normal precipitation.

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