ITHACA, N.Y. — Some like it hot, and the start of the week will bring a bit of the heat we’ve been missing, as temperatures climb into the low 90s and the humidity rises. However, as our seemingly charmed summer has lucked out so far, lower humidity and seasonably warm but not torrid temperatures will return for the second half of the week.

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High pressure currently sits overhead, providing for another generously sunny and comfortably warm day to close out the weekend. With a few fair weather clouds aloft, temperatures are in the upper 70s and low 80s across Tompkins County, and even statewide temperatures are holding in that lower 70s to lower 80s range, and as a result, winds are generally light across the region as well.

With that high pressure in place, the rest of the day will be quiet, and conditions tonight will be tranquil as well. Skies will be largely clear with lows in the mid 50s; as the high shifts to the east, however, a south wind will begin to develop in the early morning hours, and that will usher in a hotter and more humid air mass for Monday.

With a healthy southwest breeze on the backside of the high Monday, temperatures will climb substantially, with Ithaca likely in the low 90s and most of the outlying areas topping out in the upper 80s. While humidity will rise, the dewpoint should remain in the low 60s, which is noticeable but not especially muggy. A few passing clouds will develop, but it will stay mostly sunny.

A weak low pressure frontal trough will begin to enter the region from the west Monday night, and the cloud covers and chances for rain go up substantially after midnight. There’s enough energy in the atmosphere for some convective thunderstorms to form in the mix, and the moisture driven into the region by the low will make for a rather humid night. Lows Monday night will be in the upper 60s.

As the low’s associated cold front sweeps into the Finger Lakes during the day Tuesday, there is some severe thunderstorm risk, mainly in the form of damaging winds and hail. These will be scatter-shot in nature and primarily an afternoon and evening concern, so be mindful if you have plans outside or light outdoor furniture that could be blown around. Outside of showers and thunderstorm cells, it will be a mostly cloudy day, quite muggy, with highs in the low 80s that will feel like the low 90s. Winds will be breezy from the west-southwest, and new rainfall will be between 0.10-0.25″ for most areas. Tuesday night will see the showers and most of the clouds clear out around sunset, with overnight lows in the lower 60s.

While winds turn to the northwest Wednesday, it will still be rather humid as a result of the broader low pressure areas still being in the vicinity with pulses of moisture in its circulation, and aerating of freshly watered soils locally. With that touch of mugginess noted, it will otherwise be a nice day as a Canadian high works in, with partly cloudy skies and highs in the low 80s. Wednesday night will be mostly clear skies with lows in the upper 50s.

The drier air mass of the Canadian high will work in more thoroughly Thursday, which will bring the humidity down to a more comfortable level. It will be a pleasant, sunny day with highs in the low 80s. Thursday night will see the high inch closer, and it will be quiet with mostly clear skies and lows in t he upper 50s.

The high moves overhead for Friday, which will tamp down the northwesterly flow for calm winds, and allow temperatures to perk up into the mid 80s. Skies will continue to be sunny with only a few widely scattered clouds. Friday night will see some clouds build in from a coastal trough, but it should remain dry with lows around 60.

Looking into next weekend, signs point to a more typical summer weekend, with partly cloudy skies and upper 80s for Saturday, and a more humid Sunday with scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms and highs in the mid 80s.

Graphics courtesy of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

Extended Outlook

A few folks have expressed concern with the medium-range outlook, not necessarily for here but for the Midwest. After all, 100 in Des Moines and 95 in Minneapolis is not going to be a dry heat, or a safe situation. Model runs indicate a more humid and hotter pattern for the Northeast, but not to that extreme. Temperatures look likely to be in the upper 80s to low 90s with dewpoints in the upper 60s, which is muggy and not something you want people exercising in during the middle of the day, but not as risky overall.

Generally speaking, precipitation is expected to be near-normal for the period. Aside from Alaska and the West Coast, most of the country is likely to be experiencing some level of heat wave during the second half of July.

Brian Crandall

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