Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Are we done YET?

6:45 PM Update: A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for the very southern most portions of Tompkins and Cortland counties, but the storm is pretty much south of the county lines. Looking upstream, the more impressive thunderstorms should pass well to our west and east as the cold front begins to press through. As a result, I think we are pretty much done with severe weather here in the Grotonweather forecast area. There will likely be a shower or two...maybe even a light thunderstorm...over the next few hours...but the biggest hazard from here on out through tomorrow morning should be some areas of dense fog.

5PM Update: The storms over Ontario County have struggled to organize and are falling apart into just showers.

As I suspected (but a bit quicker I must admit), a healthy looking cell has broken off the lake breeze and is holding itself together nicely over Ontario County with some new development along its southern flank. If it keeps holding together, it should reach Cayuga Lake about 5:15-5:30 before heading into the Grotonweather forecast area between 5:30 and 7pm.

Original 4PM post: The Grotonweather forecast area has been hit hard twice today, with only the northern portions of Cortland County missing out on the active weather (but not by much, as southern Onondaga County has been hammered too!) Numerous severe weather reports have come out of the area, the most notable being trees and powerlines down in Lansing early this afternoon and a recorded wind gust of 55mph in Locke, 1.25" hail in Dryden and 1" hail in Cortland with the second round of storms.

So...are we done yet? For a little while at least. What has been happening is lake breeze fronts from Lake Erie and Ontario have been triggering storms between Rochester and Buffalo. These storms have been sitting and redeveloping over the same area for hours. As the individual cells move away from the lake breeze, they have been tracking southeast across the Finger Lakes, right into our neck of the woods. the last big storm that went through our area stabilized the atmosphere a good deal, and so as the cells break off of the lake breeze, they have started to quickly die out. I tend to doubt this will remain the case though. The sun is out and already working to destabilize the area once again. Eventually, I believe that another storm will have enough fuel to head down towards us once again, probably in the 1-3 hour time frame. After that, the lake breeze will start to die out. However, the cold front still has to come through and encounter a still unstable airmass across Western New York. more storms may fire up along that as it moves east...especially if it does so while the lake breeze is still adding extra lift to the atmosphere.

Bottom line: we may not be done stay tuned!

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