ITHACA, N.Y. –– With all the rain we saw through July, it’s time for a change of pace. The first week of August will provide it in quite the pleasant way, with mild temperatures, low humidity, and dry, mostly sunny conditions through the week. Temperatures will warm a little and a chance for rain should develop by the weekend.

Your Weekly Weather

This afternoon’s line of showers and thunderstorms comes courtesy of a well-defined cold front pressing through Upstate New York as it heads southeastward. The atmosphere is favorable for the development of some severe storms, though the threat is greatest with individual cells that develop from the outflow (exhaust pipe, in a sense) from the main line of storms. Behind the line, which should finish moving through Ithaca around the time this gets published, there will be a few scattered showers and thunderstorms, but being later in the day and with cooler, more stable air coming in behind the front, the risk for severe storms will be much lower.

Temperatures have dropped rapidly in the past few hours, from low to mid 70s to low 60s and upper 50s across Tompkins County. The cloud cover and relatively high humidity will keep temperatures from dropping much further heading through the evening and the overnight hours. Clouds will break up to allow a few breaks of night sky after sunset, with a few showers ans weak thunderstorms rumbling through Tompkins County before Monday morning. Lows will be in the mid to upper 50s.

Monday will be a cool day for August as a large area of high pressure builds in from the upper Midwest and drives a brisk northwest breeze into the Southern Tier. Clouds will decrease as the day progresses, with mostly clear skies by evening. Highs will be in the mid 70s, 5-10°F below normal. Monday night will be clear and cool, a great night for stargazing. Lows will be in the upper 50s in urban Ithaca and along the lake, and mid 50s in the outlying towns and higher elevations.

Tuesday will be similar, but the eastward movement of the high will weaken the northwest breeze as we are closer to the high’s core of calm air. It will be sunny with highs in the upper 70s. Tuesday night will be partly cloudy with calm winds and a low in the mid 50s.

Wednesday will be another pleasant day as the core of the high moves overhead. A coastal storm will develop south of the high, and this might allow some slightly moister air to be wrapped into the high’s circulation, but other than that the impacts will be limited, with temperatures a little warmer as winds turn to light out of the south. Plan for partly cloudy skies and highs in the low 80s. Wednesday night will see a few passing clouds, and with that slightly more humid air, overnight lows will be a little warmer, around 60°F.

Thursday will be a bit warmer as the southerly flow increases on the backside of the high’s clockwise circulation. A few isolated showers and thunderstorms may fire off during the afternoon and evening hours, but most areas will stay dry, with partly cloudy skies and highs in the low to mid 80s. Thursday night will see any thunderstorms that did pop up then wither away with the loss of daytime heat energy, and it will be partly cloudy and dry overnight with lows in the low 60s.

Friday will have slightly better chances for pop-up showers and thunderstorms as less stable air is brought in on southwesterly winds, but overall expect partly cloudy skies with highs in the mid 80s, and a touch on the muggy side with dewpoints in the mid 60s. Friday night will be partly cloudy with a few scattered showers and thunderstorms early, and lows in the mid 60s.

The weekend is looking rather hot and humid. Saturday and Sunday will start off dry but showers and thunderstorms will build up with daytime heating and muggy dewpoints in the upper 60s. Highs will be in the upper 80s, with drier conditions overnight and lows in the upper 60s.

Images courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

Looking into the middle of August, the large-scale pattern is favorable towards ridges along the West Coast and over the Northeastern United States, with a weaker trough between. The ridge will tap into hot air from the Deep South and Gulf of Mexico to provide the unseasonable heat, and with that will come ample humidity, which makes the atmosphere less dense and easier for hot surface air to rise and feed the development of rain showers and thunderstorms. So overall, for those who want another taste of a hot, hazy, and humid summer, don’t worry, it’s coming.

Brian Crandall

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