ITHACA, N.Y. — Astronomically speaking, the commencement of spring will be this Wednesday the 20th at 5:58 PM. Meteorologically speaking, we’ve had our first taste of spring sun and warmth, and it looks like a second helping will be on its way by the end of next weekend.

Graphic courtesy of NWS Binghamton.

Your Weekly Weather

We’ll be starting off this week with generally quiet conditions. A weak disturbance in the mid-levels of the atmosphere will pass through the region Sunday night into Monday, but with a lack of atmopsheric instability and moisture, its impacts will be fairly limited to some additional cloud cover and a few isolated rain and snow showers.

For your Sunday night, temperatures will settle into the low 20s in Ithaca and the upper teens in outlying areas, with mostly cloudy skies and calm winds. Monday will see mostly cloudy skies, and a light, isolated rain or snow showers is possible (no significant accumulations expected), but generally it will be dry with temperatures topping out in the upper 30s. Monday night will see decreasing clouds, a light northwest wind, and temperatures settling into the low 20s to around 20 °F.

A large and strong area of high pressure will be approaching from the Midwest as we head into Tuesday, and with that will come plenty of sunshine, though temperatures will remain a few degrees below normal. Tuesday will be mostly sunny, with a few passing clouds and highs in the upper 30s. Tuesday night will hose mostly clear skies with a light south winds and temperatures once again settling into the low 20s to around 20 °F.

By Wednesday, the core of the high pressure will have shifted east of Tompkins County, and its clockwise circulation will conjure a modest south wind that will lift the temperatures several degrees warmer. Expect partly cloudy skies Wednesday with temperatures making it into the low 50s.

Wednesday night through Friday is looking rather unsettled as a cold front swings through the region from the northwest. While the front doesn’t appear to be particularly strong, it should make for some cloudy, showery conditions late in the work week. Wednesday night will see increasing clouds, the development of some scattered rain showers, and lows in the upper 30s.

For Thursday, you’ll want an umbrella as cloudy skies and scattered rain showers are expected throughout the day. Temperatures will make into the upper 40s to around 50 °F. The showers will continue into the night Thursday as the front pushes east of Ithaca, with some snow showers mixing in after midnight. Lows will be in the low 30s.

Friday will see an invigorated northwest breeze behind the front, and temperatures will be somewhat cooler but still seasonable, with highs in the mid 40s and partly cloudy skies. Some lingering snow showers are possible in the morning, transitioning back over to rain as the precipitation tapers off. Friday night will be dry, with partly cloudy skies clearing out as the night progresses, and lows in the mid 20s.

The weekend is looking pleasant for early spring standards, with high pressure firmly in control. Saturday will be mostly sunny with a high in the mid 40s, Saturday night is expected to be mostly clear or clear skies with a low in the low 30s, and Sunday is looking quite a bit warmer as the high shifts wast, with temperatures in the upper 50s and perhaps even the low 60s if the warm southerly flow really gets cranking.

Graphic courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

For those looking forward to some mild weather, the end of the month is looking good. According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, persistent ridge in the jet stream will create modestly warmer-than-normal conditions to close out March. As the maximum amplitude of the ridge shifts somewhat eastward by the end in the month, drier than usual conditions next week will likely transition to a wetter period for the start of April. Meanwhile, under the influence of a trough in the jet stream, the west coast will be cooler than usual, with a thorough drenching for California. IT’s not such a bad thing if it keeps the wildfires at bay,

Brian Crandall

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