ITHACA, N.Y. — The good news is, any potential impacts from the landfalling Tropical Storm Henri should be limited; as the storm approached the Northeast, it weakened and made landfall further east than the models had previously anticipated. The bad news is, as Henri shifts away, a renewed surge of hot, moist air will keep things toasty and muggy through the week, and it will be several days before we see any reprieve from Mother Nature’s all-natural sauna.
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Tropical Storm Henri made landfall on Westerly, Rhode Island at about 12:30 PM this afternoon, and its rains continue to spread across the Northeast. The storm never quite organized as well as some models had shown at the start of the weekend, and this lack of organization helped pushed it further eastward and away from New York. It also pushed the storm into cooler, shallower waters north of the Gulf Stream, and this cut off the flow of energy into the storm and weakened it from Hurricane to Tropical Storm status.
For those traveling to New York, Boston or Albany, keep an eye on weather alerts, as heavy rains and some gusty winds are likely this evening through tomorrow morning. However, for Ithaca and Tompkins County, the impacts will be much more limited. Skies overhead are partly to mostly cloudy at present, and radar indicates only a few outlying showers and thunderstorms this far out from the tropical storm.
However, Henri is expected to make a hook westward before curving back east and towards Boston, and this hook into the Hudson Valley will likely bring it close enough to send some outer rain bands through Tompkins County, though nothing major is expected, perhaps one-tenth to one-quarter of an inch of rain in most areas in and around Ithaca.
For the rest of your afternoon, expect a light north wind as the counterclockwise storm wraps air around itself, with partly to mostly cloudy skies and the chance for some showers and thunderstorms. Highs will be in the mid 80s with oppressive dewpoints in the low to mid 70s, making it feel more like to low to mid 90s. Any new rainfall amounts will be one-tenth of an inch or less except for the low chance that you end up in the path of one of the few thunderstorms passing through. Sunday night will see occasional showers and thunderstorms, with near overcast skies and lows in the low 70s.
The occasional showers and thunderstorms will continue Monday before Henri begins to head eastward later in the afternoon and evening. With the tropical moisture and daytime heating, stronger thunderstorms that develop during the afternoon could produce heavy rain with flash flooding, so keep an eye out for emergency alerts. Otherwise, most areas can expect between one-tenth and one-quarter inch of new rainfall. It will be mostly cloudy with highs in the mid 80s, and dewpoints in the 70s again, so it’ll feel like the low 90s. Monday night will see showers tapering off in the evening as Henri moves away, with dry conditions and clearing skies after midnight. Lows Monday night will be in the upper 60s.
Tuesday will be rainless thanks to high pressure building in from the Ohio River Valley to the southwest, but that continental hot air will keep the dewpoints elevated and muggy. Expect mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid 80s and dewpoints in the upper 60s. Tuesday night will host mostly clear skies with some fog possible in the usual valley locations, with lows in the mid 60s.
The high pressure system shifts further east into the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday, allowing southerly wind to bring hotter air into the Southern Tier. It will be sunny and dry, but oppressively humid. With highs near 90°F and dewpoints in the low 70s, it will feel like the upper 90s, and heat advisories may be issued. A cold front will begin to press into the region from the northwest Wednesday night, and there will be the risk for a few showers and thunderstorms overnight, but most areas will remain dry with partly cloudy skies and lows in the upper 60s.
Thursday will be unsettled day as the front approaches; the counterclockwise flow ahead of its parent low will amplify the southerly flow, bringing some of the most humid air of the year into Tompkins County. Expect partly cloudy skies with scattered showers and thunderstorms primarily in the afternoon and evening hours, and highs in the upper 80s. With dewpoints in the mid 70s, however, it’ll feel like the upper 90s, so once again use caution if you’ll be working or exercising outdoors, as heat advisories may be issued. Thursday night will see partly cloudy skies with scattered showers and thunderstorms before midnight, winding down as the cold front passes through shortly after sunset. Lows Thursday night will be in the mid 60s.
Friday is a little cooler and little less humid, though it won’t be a stark change. The front will stall out east of Tompkins County, allowing enough instability to fire up a few late-day thunderstorms, but otherwise expect a partly cloudy day with highs in the low 80s and dewpoints in the mid to upper 60s. Friday night will be dry and partly cloudy with lows in the low 60s.
High pressure will build in from the north and northeast for next weekend, with a few shower and thunderstorms developing on its western edge. By and large, though, it should remain largely dry, with partly cloudy conditions both Saturday and Sunday, highs in the low 80s for Saturday, and in the mid 80s for Sunday as a frontal system develops further to the west. Lows overnight will be in the mid 60s.
The hot and humid pattern looks likely continue through the end of the month as a persistent ridge in the jet stream over the Eastern United States drives in more hot and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico. The ample moisture and more unstable ambient air will allow for above normal precipitation through the start of September. Elsewhere, cooler than normal conditions are expected upstream over the Mountain West, and drier than normal conditions will exacerbate ongoing wildfires in the Pacific Northwest.