ITHACA, N.Y. — This would be a great week for a staycation. If you have plans out and about this week, it’s looking like nature is showing us its kinder, gentler side this week, with seasonably warm temperatures and only a modest risk for rain Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Weather Recap

Last week was a fairly chilly one by June standards. Some amount of rain had been recorded every day from the 1st through the 6th, and Tuesday and Wednesday only saw high temperatures make it to 61 F at the airport, about ten degrees below normal. At the moment, we’re just a hair below normal for average temperatures, but this upcoming week should help return us to the warm side of average. After a frigid April and balmy May, it almost feels strange to have a month with temperatures averaging near climatological norms.

Most of action this past week has been out in the Western United States – for the areas that aren’t getting hit with snow, widespread wildfire risks in the drought-stricken Southwest have erupted into full-fledged blazes, with thousands evacuating ahead of fast-growing wildfires in southwest Colorado, and hundreds more fleeing from a raging fire in California near Los Angeles. This was something noted back during the winter, as the ridge in the jet stream persisted over the west, creating unseasonable warmth and dryness; six months later and the Western U.S. wildfire season is off to an unfortunately active start.

Precipitation, mean sea level pressure and 1000-500 mb thickness (temperature proxy) for 2 AM Tuesday morning. High pressure moving in from Canada will keep skies clear, while a southerly breeze keeps temperatures warm. GFS Model output courtesy

Your Weekly Weather

Like the college student with three exams coming up, we’re under some high pressure at the moment. A fairly strong area of high pressure currently sitting over Quebec is keeping clouds and rain well to the south – in fact, we were near the edge of that unsettled mass yesterday, with the cloud shield wavering back and forth over the Southern Tier. That resulted in places further south such as Scranton and Binghamton seeing little sun and temperatures only climb into the mid 60s, while Ithaca caught some breaks and warmed into the low 70s, and Syracuse, under strong sun pretty much the whole day, made it to near 80 F.

On the bright side (perhaps literally), that Canadian high pressure will be sinking southward into the Eastern part of the state over the next day or so. Any remnant clouds should dissipate, giving way to sunny skies and seasonable highs in the mid 70s today. Tonight will be calm and comfortable, with mostly clear skies and lows in the low 50s.

Tuesday’s looking a tad warmer thanks to a strong southerly breeze driven by the clockwise flow of the high pressure system to the east. Look for sunny skies and highs in the upper 70s.

While Tuesday evening should be dry, moisture will build in ahead of a cold front, leading to increasing clouds as we head into sunset. The weather forecast office notes that atmospheric energy isn’t that strong, but the air will be moist, so no severe thunderstorms are expected Wednesday morning and afternoon, but some isolated downpours are possible during the day. The precipitation overall will be scattered, so some places will see a good soak, while many will see only small amounts, less than 0.25″.

That’s a little worrying because while April was cold and May was quite warm, both shared one thing in common – dryness. We’re starting to run a deficit and could use a good, widespread rain. If this pattern continues, we may see drought advisories being issued.

So for Tuesday night, mostly cloudy early with rain showers by daybreak and lows in the low 60s. For Wednesday, scattered showers and thunderstorms but mostly cloudy otherwise with temperatures in the the upper 70s. Wednesday night, the next high pressure system moves in, allowing skies to clear out and temperatures slip back into the upper 50s.

From Thursday on, it’s sunny and warm, and dewpoints will remain comfortably in the 50s. Thursday will be mostly sunny with highs near 80. Thursday night, mostly clear with lows in the mid to upper 50s. Friday will be mostly sunny with upper 70s for a high and clear at night with mid 50s for a low. Saturday and Sunday will be sunny as well, but a bit warmer and a bit muggier, with low to mid 80s for highs, and with lows in the upper 50s to around 60. Overall, a seasonably warm and mostly dry week ahead.

Image courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

It’s a mixed bag in the weeks ahead with regards to our dry weather situation. On the one hand, chances are maginally favorable for greater than normal precipitation. On the other hand, it will also be warmer than normal, and since warm air has a greater moisture capacity than cool air, that means the ground is usually able to dry out faster. The big jet stream ridge in the east will be reinforced by unusually unsettled conditions expected in the Mountain West as the remnants of Eastern Pacific Hurricane Bud make their way into the region.

Brian Crandall

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