ITHACA, N.Y. — For those who are looking to enjoy some fun in the sun, Mother Nature smiles in your favor this week – thanks to high pressure over the Mid-Atlantic region, there will be generous sunshine and some of the warmest temperatures this year to-date on tap for the week ahead.

Your Weekly Weather

It’s a fairly quiet and comfortable spring Sunday to start this week’s report. A weak shortwave (pulse of instability) is passing through the upper levels of the atmosphere, which is allowing for the development of substantial cloud cover and a few showers and thunderstorms, including some passing through Tompkins County as I complete this write-up. However, most areas upstate are remaining dry due to a significant layer of dry air near the earth’s surface – although temperatures are around 70 this evening, dewpoints are in the upper 30s.

As the shortwave moves east and we lose the heat energy from the sun, conditions will settle back down and the showers and thunderstorms will come to an end, with clearing skies during the late evening hours. After midnight, only a few passing clouds will remain, and this will allow temperatures to slide back to a low in the upper 40s. Some patchy fog will be possible in the usual valley locations.

Monday will see high pressure begin to work its way in from the west, and all in all, with dry air still present, it’s going to be a quiet, warm day across Tompkins County. Expect partly cloudy skies, comfortable humidity, and highs in the mid 70s, perfect for many of the outdoor activities you might be itching to take on. Some isolated showers may develop east of Ithaca. These will one again wither as we head past sunset and Monday night, with a few passing clouds overnight as lows around 50°F.

Tuesday sees the high practically overhead, which will allow for stable conditions with only a weak northwesterly wind. Expect mostly sunny skies with highs in the upper 70s. Tuesday night will see calm air, mostly clear skies, and lows in the low 50s.

As the high heads east of Tompkins County Wednesday, its clockwise flow will drive a southerly wind that will advect warmer air into the area. In fact, models suggest most of the area will make it into the low and mid 80s under mostly sunny skies, though it will be slightly cooler down by the lakeshore. Wednesday night will host increasing clouds with partly cloudy skies by sunrise Thursday, and lows around 60°F.

Chances of precipitation Thursday and Friday grow as the high pressure ridge flattens near the top, allowing shortwaves to work closer in to the Southern Tier – but that said, the models have been backing off of this possibility, and even if it does happen these will be scattered, pop-up showers that would pass during the late afternoon and evening hours. It will, however, start to feel a little humid. Other than that marginal afternoon/evening risk for showers or a couple thunderstorms, it will be partly cloudy with highs in the low 80s. Thursday night will be partly cloudy with lows in the low 60s.

Friday will be much the same as Thursday, as that high remains to the east, southerly flow continues, and some risk of showers and storms continues during the PM hours, particularly north and west of Ithaca. Otherwise, plan for partly cloudy skies and highs in the low to mid 80s. Friday night will be mostly cloudy with lows in the low 60s.

Looking into next weekend, it will likely be more unsettled as the high retrogrades into the Southeastern United States, allowing for a flattening of the jet stream ridge and transient shortwaves to press into the Southern Tier. However, the high will continue to pump warm, moist air into the region. It will feel summer-like, and a tad muggy during the afternoon and evening, with partly cloudy skies early and mostly cloudy skies in the afternoon with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the low 80s, and the overnight hours will be partly to mostly cloudy with lows in the low 60s.

Images courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Looking ahead towards the end of the month, it’s looking like it will be on the warm if wet side. This is a continuing of the pattern described for next weekend – with that high pressure centered over the southeast, a flattening of the ridge and a southerly flow of Gulf Moisture would allow for higher-than-usual amounts of rain for the last week of the month, but also warmer-than-normal temperatures. It’s not likely to make your barbecues a wash-out, but you’ll want to have that umbrella handy, whether out on errands or next to the deck and patio.

Brian Crandall

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