Calm weather in Upstate NY is shattered by intense heat and thunderstorms

SYRACUSE, NY – After a period of calm weather, upstate New York is hit with a brief but intense bout of summer this week.

June has been about 10 degrees cooler than last year so far, with the temperature reaching 80 degrees only once this month in Syracuse.

That changes on Wednesday and Thursday, when temperatures soar near or above 90 degrees. High humidity is also returning, setting the stage for the severe thunderstorms expected Wednesday night and through Thursday.

Those storms could bring heavy rain, the National Weather Service said. The Weather Service has issued a dangerous weather forecast, an early warning that severe weather is likely in the coming days.

“Some severe thunderstorms are possible in the area on Wednesday afternoon and evening, with scattered damaging squalls and possible hail,” the forecast said. “A more organized severe weather threat is possible on Thursday when a front enters the region with very warm, humid and unstable conditions.”

The warm up starts on Tuesday, when temperatures soar to around 80 degrees under sunny skies, and really ramps up on Wednesday when a warm front pushes temperatures to around 90 degrees.

The record for June 16 in Syracuse is 93 degrees, set in 1994.

Due to the high humidity, it will be significantly hotter – the heat index for Thursday should be 95 degrees, according to the weather service.

The heat at night could also set records. The hottest overnight temperature for June 16 – Thursday – is 70 degrees, just like the forecast. Heat at night is a health risk for people who don’t have access to air conditioning.

Thunderstorms could start firing Wednesday night when a cold front stationed over eastern Manitoba surges through the Great Lakes region. The likelihood and strength of storms increases on Thursday as humidity levels continue to rise.

The dew point – a meteorological standard measure of humidity – could reach 72 degrees on Thursday. Anything over 65 degrees is considered “suffocating”.

With so much water in the atmosphere, strong thunderstorms could wring out torrential rain.

The heat breaks Friday as the cold front pulls through. Friday’s high is around 80 and Saturday and Sunday return to early June with highs in the low 70’s.

About Mike Crayton

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