Update 5:30 p.m. —
The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Tompkins County and the Ithaca region, as well as several surrounding counties.
The thunderstorm watch is set to last until 10 p.m. 70 mph winds and 1-inch hail are possible, according to the NWS.
Stick with The Voice for updates on the storm.
Zachary Labe is a Cornell student majoring in atmospheric sciences who runs Cornell Weather.
Ithaca, N.Y. — A moist, southerly air flow has been responsible for increased heat and humidity over the last several days across the Finger Lakes region.
But now a cold front will be the catalyst for scattered showers and possible thunderstorms across central New York, including Ithaca, when it meets the humid air on Tuesday. Some of the storms may be severe.
As the cold front begins to track eastward into NY, thickening clouds will form over the Ithaca area. Showers and thunderstorms will begin to develop toward the Buffalo to Rochester corridor and move fairly quickly to the east.
As these storms interact with the increased heat and humidity, the atmosphere will gradually become more unstable, allowing the thunderstorms to intensify.
It is likely a line of strong thunderstorms will form and move through the Ithaca area sometime from 5 to 8 p.m. The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for Tompkins County.
While not all areas will receive rainfall, some may be impacted by isolated severe weather.
The greatest threats from any strong thunderstorms will be in the form of damaging straight-line wind gusts and heavy downpours. Flash flooding has been common this summer across Tompkins County, but it appears today’s storms will be fast moving and not last long in any one area.
Temporary relief will occur Wednesday and Thursday as a cold front moves through the region today with slightly cooler and drier air.
Those days will feature slightly cooler temperatures with highs around 80F under sunny skies. Some morning valley fog is also possible, especially along the lake shore.
For more information on today’s storms, keep up to date with the latest watches and warnings from the National Weather Service (http://www.weather.gov/bgm/) and NOAA Storm Prediction Center (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/).