ITHACA, N.Y. – A fairly quiet week of weather is on tap for Tompkins County. While the mild temps mid-week will be convenient for leaf raking and replacing your Halloween lawn ornaments with Christmas ones, you’d better bag the leaves up and secure your lawn knick-knacks before the breezy conditions spurred by an incoming storm system Friday into Saturday.

Your Weekly Weather

Low-level clouds are slowly but steadily burning off across Central New York as high pressure stabilizes the atmosphere aloft and the sun dries out the low-level air. It will be a quiet close to this late fall weekend, with chilly below-normal highs in the mid 40s and light winds. The near-clear skies and light winds will allow for optimal radiative cooling tonight, with lows in the low to mid 20s across Tompkins County.

The high becomes more elongated Monday, from the Mid-Atlantic northeastward to Quebec, while a low passes to the north of Ithaca. This will produce a south wind that will raise temperatures substantially, with highs Monday in the mid 50s. However, with that low passing relatively nearby, skies will be mostly cloudy at times during the day tomorrow, with a few rain showers in the region during the afternoon hours. Once the low passes and winds turn to the northwest, Lake Ontario-enhanced atmospheric instability will result in mostly cloudy skies overnight with a few light rain showers and lows in the upper 30s.

High pressure over the Ohio River Valley will build in Tuesday, result in a fairly quiet weather day for Tompkins County. A few morning rain showers are possible, with decreasing clouds as the day goes on. With those northwest winds, high temperatures will be cooler, in the mid and upper 40s across the county. With that high pressure in place Tuesday night, Skies will be mostly clear with light winds and lows in the mid to upper 20s.

As the high shifts eastward Wednesday, southwest winds within its clockwise flow will produce a milder day, with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 50s. Wednesday night will be partly cloudy with lows in the mid 30s, though it might stay in the upper 30s in urban Ithaca and along Cayuga Lake.

Thursday looks to be a little warmer as the counterclockwise circulation of a low over the Upper Midwest enhances the southwest flow. It will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s. Thursday night will see increasing clouds as the low approaches, and the cloud cover and south winds will keep lows on the mild side, in the mid 40s.

As the core of the low passes across Ontario and Quebec, a fairly strong cold front will stretch down the Eastern United States, Upstate New York included. During the daytime hours, we’ll remain in the warm sector. With scattered rain showers and gusty south winds, highs will be in the upper 50s under mostly cloudy skies. Friday night will see periods of rain, particularly during the evening hours, with mostly cloudy skies and lows in the mid 40s.

The front looks likely to cross Ithaca’s longitude Saturday morning a little after sunrise. Mostly cloudy skies are expected, with some clearing later in the day, with westerly breezes turning to the northwest. Highs will be in the lower 50s. Saturday night will be in the mid 30s, and Sunday looks to top out in the mid to upper 40s with some lake-enhanced lake and snow showers possible.

Graphics courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Looking into the week of Thanksgiving, the large-scale pattern favors a jet stream trough in the Western U.S. and a ridge in the East. This setup would draw moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean poleward, and Pacific moisture into the Mountain West between the trough and ridge. Basically, it’s looking like a milder-than-usual week for Turkey Day, though with above-average chances for rain (and with these type of temperature anomalies, it would very likely be rain).

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