Graphic courtesy of the NWS Binghamton forecast office.

ITHACA, N.Y. –After last week’s broiling temperatures, a bit of a break is welcome. While this week will be plenty warm and plenty sunny, the humidity will be generally tolerable, and with the exception of Tuesday it looks like a great summer week ahead.

Chart courtesy of the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Weather Recap

According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, thanks to the recent heat wave, we’ve already had four days at or greater than 90 °F this month, and five for the year-to-date. In a typical summer, Ithaca gets about six days of 90+ °F heat. In the local temperature records (which go back to 1893), the most 90 °F days in one year is 26 set in 1955, and at least fifteen years never recorded a single day at 90 or higher, the last of which was in 2014.

It wasn’t just Tompkins County that was baking in last week’s heat and humidity. In Quebec, over fifty heat-related fatalities were reported, mostly among the ill, physically disabled or those old and living alone. Montreal set a new record high in its 147 years of readings, 97.9 °F on July 2nd. Beyond our part of the continent, Denver tied its all-time record of 105 °F, temperatures on the campus of UCLA soared to a new all-time record 111 °F, and Africa set a new continental high temperature record in Algeria, were temperatures sizzled at 124.3 °F last Thursday. Even the Arctic coast of Siberia made it to 90 °F. So for many folks around the world, yes, last week was certainly a hot one.

Thankfully, the cold front that came through Friday morning cooled things off and brought the humidity back from sweltering to tolerable. We can expect more of the same this week with a reinforcing if weak cold front, with an outside chance later in the week to build up our count of 90 °F days.

Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service Binghamton office.

Your Weekly Weather

Today’s about as quiet as summer weather gets. A strong area of high pressure centered over the Virginias is in firm control, and preventing much in the way of clouds and precipitation from forming. With light southwest winds, temperatures will be running a few degrees above normal in the mid 80s. Dewpoints will remain in the upper 50s to around 60 °F, so the humidity is enough to be noticeable, but still fairly comfortable.

Monday night will be generally mild with only a few clouds, although these will build in more towards daybreak. Lows will be in the mid 60s with a light south breeze – a perfect night for your midsummer night’s dream, whatever it may be.

Tuesday will be unsettled as a cold front moves southeastward through our region during the afternoon, triggering showers and thunderstorms ahead of it. The front will be fairly weak and there isn’t much moisture in the air, so its local impacts are expected to be fairly limited, which is a bit unfortunate given we’re still running a precipitation deficit and could use some more rain. However, one benefit it does provide is shunting Tropical Storm Chris (expected to become a hurricane today) back into the open Atlantic Ocean. Look for partly cloudy skies, some widely scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, and highs in the mid 80s. Tuesday night should settle back down with partly cloudy skies and lows in the upper 50s.

Wednesday will be picture perfect summer weather. Expect mostly sunny skies, a light northerly breeze, comfortable humidity, and temperatures topping out in the low 80s. Wednesday night will be mostly clear with lows in the mid 50s.

For Thursday, the winds will slacken, and temperatures will rise a bit higher, but otherwise still sunny and comfortable. Highs will be in the mid 80s. Thursday night will bring mostly clear skies and lows around 60 °F.

Friday will start off mostly sunny and temperatures should make it into the upper 80s, though a few showers or a thunderstorm will be possible Friday night as a weak disturbance passes along the jet stream. Once again, its weak and the lack of moisture will keep this from being much of a rainmaker. Saturday will have a chance of showers, partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 80s, while Sunday will be sunny and near 90 °F. Overall a quiet and mostly comfortable week, a bit drier than we’d like with temperatures slightly above normal.

Graphic courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Some like it hot, and it looks like it’ll be staying that way for the next few weeks. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center is expecting warmer than normal conditions to prevail across the Northeast for the remainder of the month due to a persistent ridge in the jet stream allowing warm air to be channeled northward. Dangerously excessive heat doesn’t appear to be a concern just yet – it’s a different story over the Midwest and Carolinas, however. It looks like chances are good for a few more hot summer days, and we’ll have to see just how high this year’s 90+ °F count climbs.

As for precipitation, chances are modestly higher than normal for above-average rainfall in the second half of July, but we’ll have to wait and see if it pans out.

Brian Crandall

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