ITHACA, N.Y. — After today’s strong cold front swept through the region, it’s looking pretty quiet for most of the week ahead, with more seasonable temperatures building back in by mid-week. While there will likely be rain Thursday night into Friday, overall it’s looking like a fairly dry start to April.
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Temperatures dropped off pretty rapidly during the overnight hours of early Sunday morning, with temperatures going from 60 °F at 3 AM at the Tompkins County Regional Airport, to about 36 °F at 5 AM, the sudden dropoff coming as the front passed overhead and winds shifted from the south to the northwest. The rest of Sunday has been a blustery, cold day, with snow showers to close out March. With all that being said, it’s looking like March overall was on the cold and dry side, but we’ll bring you the finalized statistics next week.
With the cold air and northwest winds, lake enhanced snow showers have developed across much of region. Thanks to an upper-level atmospheric disturbance providing some additional instability, the showers will persist during the overnight hours as temperatures drop into the low and mid 20s. Ithaca and communities to the south and west will be away from the direction of the prevailing fetch off the lake, and so snow showers will be lighter and more intermittent, with most places seeing an inch or less. However, Lansing, Dryden and Caroline can probably expect 1-2″, enough to coat the ground (and ice the roads, and Groton might see 2″ before the upper-level disturbance moves on and the snow bands wind down during the morning hours.
Most of the snow showers will have dissipated by mid-morning as high pressure works its way in, but it will be a blustery, chilly day. The clouds will break up as the day progresses, and it should be mostly sunny by Monday evening, but temperatures will only rise into the upper 30s as that northwest breeze continues into the afternoon hours before calming down towards sunset. A high pressure system will be trekking into the Southern Tier from the west, and the core of the system will move overhead Monday night, which should put the kibosh on the winds. Monday night will host mostly clear skies, calm winds, and lows in the low to mid 20s.
Tuesday is looking a considerably warmer as the high moves eastward and its clockwise flow begins to pump milder air into the region. Overall, it’s looking like a fairly pleasant day for early spring, with partly cloudy skies, a strong south wind, and highs in the low 50s. Tuesday night will be partly cloudy with a light south wind (the loss of dayime heating will cause the winds to slacken) and a low in the low 30s.
A weak storm system passing to the north will work in tandem with the high pressure system to bring temperatures even higher Wednesday, with some breezy winds. Expect a few passing clouds and temperatures to make it into the upper 50s to around 60 °F in some of the valley and urban locations. Skies will be mostly clear Wednesday night with lows in the low to mid 30s.
Thursday is looking quiet as a quick-moving high pressure area shuffles in some cooler air from the northwest. Expect partly sunny skies with highs around 50 °F. It will cloud up as we head into afternoon and evening hours, as the next storm system begins to build in from the southwest. Rain should move into Tompkins County by late evening, and so Thursday night will be cloudy with periods of rain and temperatures in the upper 30s.
Friday will be your stereotypical April forecast. Expect rain and overcast skies as the low pressure core of the storm systems passes northeastward through upstate New York. With the southerly flow ahead of the low, temperatures will climb into the mid 50s. The rain will taper off by sunset and skies will slowly clear out Friday night into Saturday morning, with lows in the low 40s.
Next weekend is looking pleasant for any outdoor activities. Expect mostly cloudy skies Saturday with temperatures in the mid 50s, some clearing out Saturday night with lows in the upper 30s, and mostly sunny skies Sunday with highs around 60 °F.
This is a map we haven’t seen in a while – a pronounced long-wave ridge that will result in widespread above normal temperatures throughout the country, with the maximum amplitude of the ridge over the Mississippi River Valley but sharing the thermal wealth with most of the lower 48. This pattern is expected to hold through the middle of the month, and if it bears out, it could mean a pleasantly warm April to balance out our cold March.