ITHACA, N.Y. — For those of you thinking of doing some apple picking, hiking, or a few late-season barbecues, this week will be a pleasant one, as mild temperatures and generally dry conditions will prevail this week.

Your Weekly Weather

High pressure over the Southern Appalachians is the dominant feature of the local weather at this moment, and it’s allowing for a seasonable and pleasant Sunday afternoon, with fair-weather cumulus interspersed with a pleasurable amount of sun, and temperatures rising through the 60s on their way to highs near 70°F. Winds are light out of the southwest, but the shape of the high pressure area means that it’s tapping into air more from the west than the south today, so with a more zonal component, the temperatures aren’t as warm as they otherwise could be. Tonight will also be fairly quiet as the high shifts a little eastward, with partly cloudy skies turning mostly cloudy after midnight, and the wind holding lows steady in the mid 50s.

Monday will see a shortwave (pulse of instability) ride along the edge of the high pressure ridge during the AM hours, and the orientation of the surface winds of the high will take on a more southerly component as the ridge adjusts. This will result in a few scattered showers, primarily in the morning, and somewhat warmer temperatures as skies turn less cloudy during the afternoon. Highs will be in the mid to upper 70s, and any new rainfall in the morning will be one-tenth of an inch or less. Monday night will see a weak cold frontal boundary press southwestward across the Southern Tier, and this will induce thicker cloud cover and a few more rain showers, once again on the light side with new rainfall amounts less than one-tenth of an inch. With that cloud cover, lows will be mild, in the upper 50s.

Tuesday will see a few light rain showers last through the morning before drier and more stable air enters from the northwest with a Canadian high. The cloud cover and northwest wind will moderate temperatures behind the front, with highs topping out in the upper 60s. Mostly clear skies Tuesday night and low humidity will allow for some substantial cooling overnight, with dry conditions and lows in the upper 40s.

For Wednesday, the Canadian high will sink southeastward as the ridge pulls back, so we’re basically trading one mass of stable air for another, modestly cooler stable air mass. Expect mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid to upper 60s, a little warmer in urban Ithaca and a little cooler in the outlying towns. Wednesday night will be mostly clear and cool with that high overhead, and lows will be in the upper 40s.

Turning to Thursday, expect another dry, mostly sunny and mild day, though with cooler air digging in from the northwest from the upper-level of the atmosphere, part of a small storm system over New England and Atlantic Canada. This system will also hold the high in place over Tompkins County. Temperatures will be a little cooler Thursday afternoon, generally staying in the mid 60s for highs. Thursday night will be cool and clear, with lows in the mid 40s.

Friday will be very similar, with mostly sunny skies and a high in the mid to upper 60s, a tad warmer as the cool air recedes back to the east a little bit. Friday night will see mostly clear skies and cool conditions as temperatures fall back into the mid to upper 40s for low.

Looking forward to next weekend, Saturday should remain pleasant, but a storm system does appear to be approaching from the southwest Sunday night. Expect mostly sunny skies Saturday and highs in the mid to upper 60s, and lows in the upper 40s with dry conditions Saturday night. Sunday will see increasing clouds and showers moving in by evening, with highs in the mid 60s.

Extended Outlook

Looking into October and the Fall Break weekend for students, it’s shaping up to be a pleasant one. A large and broad ridge of high pressure will bring warmer than normal conditions to much of the continental United States, excluding the tip of Florida because all that warm air has to come from somewhere, and it’s at the expense of the lower latitudes. Drier than normal conditions are also likely for the period, meaning more opportunities for apple pickings and outdoor fall sensitivities will be there for those of you who already have prior commitments this week.

Brian Crandall

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