ITHACA, N.Y. — If you’re going to be out late tonight, keep an eye on the weather – there is significant potential for high winds, severe thunderstorms and even isolated hailstorms and tornadoes.

A strengthening storm system currently in the Ohio River Valley will be moving northeastward and into Upstate New York during the overnight hours. With this incoming storm comes a surge of warm, moist air, and an increasingly unstable atmosphere with conditions suitable for the development of severe weather across Tompkins County and the Southern Tier.

Earlier in the evening, the activity should be relatively weak, with only rain showers and some isolated thunderstorms. Temperatures will climb into the low 60s after sunset, as warm air flows into the region.

However, a squall line of severe storms will begin to develop west of Ithaca during the late evening ahead of a cold front, shifting eastward as the night progresses. The squall line is expected to be on the western edge of Tompkins County by midnight, pushing through Ithaca a few minutes later, and impacting the eastern edge of the county by 1 AM.

This squall line will be embedded with numerous strong and severe thunderstorms. Isolated cases of flash flooding, hail, and tornadoes are possible, as well as an enhanced risk for damaging straight-line wind gusts of 60-70 MPH.

As always with the looming threat of severe thunderstorms, take appropriate precautions. Secure any light outdoor objects that may be at risk of becoming airborne. Be wary of falling trees and be prepared for power outages and difficult travel on the roads. If you live near a body of water or in a low-lying area, be mindful of the risk for flash flooding and rapidly rising water levels. Stay informed and leave your phone or weather radio on in case a severe weather warning is issued.

A regular weekly weather forecast will be posted later this evening.

Brian Crandall

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