ITHACA, N.Y. — Bring the garbage cans inside and try not to park under any trees tonight – a high wind warning is in effect, and the wind gusts tonight are only going to get stronger from here.

Graphic courtesy of NWS Binghamton.

Your Weekly Weather

A High Wind Warning remains in effect until 7 PM Monday Night. As a strong low intensifies (NWS Binghamton calls it a bombing low, and the technical term is “bombogenesis”) and upper-level jet stream winds approach the surface air layer, winds will continue to pick up in speed Sunday night into Monday morning.

The timing of maximum wind gusts, which could reach 60-70 MPH in much of the county, has been extended and shifted later into the working hours of Monday morning. The timing of maximum wind gusts in Ithaca will be from 2 AM Monday morning, through 2 PM Monday afternoon. During this time, winds will be sustained at 30-45 MPH, with 50+ MPH gusts. Towns north and west of the county can expect a slightly earlier onset and ending, while areas to the south and east will be slightly later.

Use extreme caution if out during the morning and early afternoon. Light objects may become airborne. Widespread power outages are possible. Trees and limbs may be brought down by the high winds, posing travel and safety hazards. If possible, limit outdoor travel and be prepared for an extended power outage, as power lines may be down over a large area and limit the ability of power crews to get the grid back on line.

Apart from the big blow, expect mostly cloudy skies with a few isolated snow showers. Lows will slip into the mid 20s, and temperatures Monday will only make it into the upper 20s under mostly cloudy skies. On Monday night, winds should steadily decrease under partly to mostly cloudy skies, and lows in the mid teens.

The weather pattern will be quiet but cold for the middle of the week as a high pressure system moving in from the Upper Midwest channels Canadian cold air in its clockwise flow, resulting in below normal temperatures and dry conditions.

Tuesday will be very cold and dry. Plan for partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper teens to around 20 °F in Ithaca, and remaining in the teens everywhere else.Tuesday night, expect mostly cloudy skies and lows in the lower teens to upper single digits.

On Wednesday morning, the high pressure system shifts east of Tompkins County, and temperature will be somewhat warmer if still below average. Mostly cloudy skies will dominate, with temperatures climbing into the upper 20s. A weak area of low pressure will skirt south of the region Wednesday afternoon and evening, and some scattered light snow showers are expected, with accumulation of a dusting to no more than an inch. For Wednesday night, expect cloudy skies, a few lingering light snow showers, and lows in the low 20s.

Thursday will be quiet and seasonable, with partly cloudy skies and a high in the mid 30s. Thursday night will be mostly cloudy with a chance for some light snow showers as a weak low passes to the north, with lows in the low 20s.

Friday will welcome the next storm system, a low moving northeastward from the Ohio River Valley. This core of this system will pass directly over the region, and it will be a wet weekend. Friday itself will see the first phase, a warm front with snow showers early, changing over to rain. Highs will be in the low 40s. Friday night, snow or a wintry mix is likely, with lows around 32 °F. This system could potentially produce substantial accumulations, but could also be a mostly-rain event. It’s a bit hard to tell this far out, but keep an eye on the forecast if travelling Friday night or Saturday morning.

Saturday will be cloudy, a mix of rain ans snow, and highs in the mid 40s. The cold front sweeps in later Saturday, with a change over back to snow before tapering off, and lows in the low 20s. Sunday will be mostly cloudy, a chance of snow, and in the upper 20s.

Graphic courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

If you were hoping for some big warm-up…unless you’re in Miami or El Paso, you’re pretty much of luck. A deep long-wave trough will produce abnormally cold conditions throughout most of the continental United States for the start of March. Precipitation anomalies are looking a bit on the wet side to end February and start of March, and on the dry side for the second week of March.

Brian Crandall

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