ITHACA, N.Y. — If you’re hoping for a break from this high heat and humidity, well…you’ll be waiting a little while. Hot, humid and generally dry conditions are expected to persist through the week.
It might seem a little strange to think about in the current weather context, but according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, June wrapped up with average temperatures just a hair below normal, and only about half as much precipitation as Ithacans have come to expect from their June skies.
This past weekend was nothing short of an oven. No wait, scratch that. Ovens are at least a dry heat. Temperatures at the airport reached 90 °F Saturday and 94 °F Sunday, with dewpoints on both days pushing into the low 70s, making it oppressively muggy and potentially dangerous, since it doesn’t allow for efficient wicking of moisture from skin (evaporation of moisture has a cooling effect on the human body – hence the cool feeling when you just get out of a pool). The heat index, the “real feel” as it were, appears to have made it to at least 102 °F at the airport yesterday at around 5 PM, and Cornell’s Game Farm Road weather station reported values giving a heat index of 104 °F (the actual temperature hit 94 °F there as well). Without a doubt, this is a scorcher by local standards.
Unfortunately, there does not appear to be much of a reprieve in the short term, though some slight moderation is expected as we move through the week.
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Most folks around the area didn’t even below 70 °F last night, and temperatures are climbing quickly under washed-out blue skies this morning. A cold front is making an effort at breaching the high pressure heat dome, but unfortunately it is decaying quickly – any cooldown will be modest. More important is that the front may inject some additional instability into the atmosphere, resulting in greater potential for showers or thunderstorms late today.
HEAT ADVISORIES remain in effect, and for our readers closer to Lake Ontario or Syracuse an EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING has been issues, as heat indices may approach 110 °F in those areas. As a reminder, please use caution and be on the lookout for signs of heat exhaustion or illness in yourself, as well as friends and family.
For today – hazy, hot and humid. Mostly sunny, early, partly cloudy later with pop-up showers and thunderstorms possible. These storms aren’t likely to be severe, but all the moisture content in the air could feed heavy downpours, and the slow movement of these storms may create flash flooding, so keep an eye out. Highs will be in the mid 90s, with heat indices between 100 and 105 °F. Monday night will see an end to the rain, and mostly cloudy skies with fog possible in valley areas. Winds will be light and it will be muggy. Lows will be around 70 °F.
Tuesday will be slightly cooler, but still quite hot and humid. Expect partly sunny skies, and temperatures to top out in the upper 80s, with dewpoints a little lower as well. For Tuesday night, look for partly cloudy skies and a low in the mid 60s.
For your Independence Day BBQs on Wednesday, break out the cold beverages, because you’ll want them, and keep an umbrella handy during the evening. It will be a touch warmer and more humid (dewpoints in the low 70s, not pleasant), with temperatures in the low 90s and a heat index likely in the upper 90s. The day will start off with just a couple clouds, but will grow in coverage and see a few isolated thunderstorms during the late afternoon and evening as fireworks shows get underway – don’t mistake rumbles of thunder for rumbles of fireworks, our news staff would prefer no one get hit by lightning this week. Wednesday night will be partly cloudy, warm and humid, with lows around 70 °F.
Thursday will be another hot and humid day. Partly cloudy skies will dominate, with highs around 90 °F. A few pop-up storms may form late in the day, with some more developing and moving eastward through the area Thursday night ahead of a cold front, keeping things humid as temperatures bottom out near 70 °F.
Friday looks to be the first noticeable reprieve as a cold front manages to push in from the northwest. Although it’s likely to create unsettled conditions with numerous showers and thunderstorms, temperatures will only top out in the low 80s – near to (only) slightly above normal. These should clear out by Friday night, with a substantially cooler and drier air mass taking control for the weekend – sunny skies Saturday and Sunday, with high temperatures around 80 °F, and lows in the upper 50s to around 60 °F.
For those hoping for a long-term reprieve from the heat and humidity, don’t get your hopes up. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center is expecting a resurgent high pressure heat dome to press into the northeast throughout the month, resulting in temperatures in July that are well above normal. Precipitation indicators are fairly neutral, meaning near-normal precipitation, weighted a little more towards the middle of the month. This is important to pay attention to, as drought conditions are starting to take hold in parts of the state, and these are expected to worsen as we head into the heart of climatological summer.