A deck of low and mid level stratus clouds was over the Capital Region early this morning, and a few showers were noted on radar just to the south and east of the area. These clouds and showers are forecast to come to an end by mid morning, and the Capital Region should see a mix of sun and clouds for the balance of the last day of the work week.
The region is sandwiched in between weather systems. The first system is a coastal system that is off the southeastern Atlantic coast, but whose precipitation shield spans almost the entire coastal plain. Included in this system were the remnants of the first named Atlantic tropical system of the 2012 hurricane season, Alberto. The second system, to our west, is in the form of a cold front over the upper Great Lakes and Midwest. This frontal system looked rather unimpressive this morning, and was not generating much precipitation.
With the heating of the atmosphere today, garden variety showers and thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening, especially as the cold front to our west progresses eastward toward the area. The front is forecast to pass through the area late tonight. By the time it approaches late tonight there will be little if any impetus for the production of noteworthy showers and/or thunderstorms. That being said, outside of widely scattered rainfall activity, nothing more than a wind shift and some increase in the cloud deck is forecast.
The cold front will be south of the region by Saturday morning, though not all that far south. The upper level wind fields look to become parallel to the frontal boundary, and thus it is forecast to stall, bisecting the state of Pennsylvania from west to east, and then northeast to around New York City and into southeastern New England. This frontal position should be far enough to the south, with advancing high pressure nosing into the region from Canada, to provide a tranquil period of weather during the Saturday to Saturday night time frame.
Further west, a major area of low pressure is forecast to develop over the Central Rocky Mountain states by Sunday, and then move quickly north and east into the Dakotas by Monday morning. This area of low pressure will be responsible for the stalling of the cold front that passed through our region Friday night. As the low pressure area develops and pushes northeast, the cold front to our south looks to undergo a “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” personality switch, and lift back northward toward our region on Sunday as a warm front. This warm front moves north of the region by Memorial Day, bringing some heat and humidity into the region before a strong cold front sweeps toward the area on Tuesday.
The best chances for any shower and thunderstorm activity look to be on Sunday, Monday, and especially Tuesday, during the afternoon and evening hours each day. It should also be noted that a continuous rainfall is not forecast at any point during the holiday weekend. Rainfall will occur in response to daytime heating acting to destabilize the atmosphere in the presence of the warm/cold frontal boundaries forecast to be in the vicinity of the area through that time frame.
In general, temperatures are forecast to remain above normal through the period, with precipitation averaging near normal.
FORECAST FOR THE ALBANY, SCHENECTADY, TROY, NY AREA AND VICINITY…
Today: Morning clouds, patchy fog, and spotty showers giving way to a mix of clouds and sunshine. Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms are possible. High near 80. South winds 5-10 MPH. Chance of rain is 30%.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a widely scattered shower or thunderstorm possible. Muggy. Low near 60. South winds 5-15 MPH, shifting southwest late at night. Chance of rain is 20%.
Saturday: Mostly sunny and very mild. High in the mid 80’s. Northwest winds 5-15 MPH.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy and muggy. A chance of a shower or thunderstorm after midnight. Low near 60. Light & variable winds. Chance of rain is 20%.
Sunday: Intervals of clouds and sunshine with a good chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Some storms may contain heavy rain. High near 80. South winds, shifting southwest late in the day, at 5-10 MPH. Chance of rain is 60%.
Memorial Day: Partly sunny with a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms. High near 85 and low near 60.
Tuesday: Partly sunny with a 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms. High near 85 and low near 65.
Wednesday: Partly sunny with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms. High near 80 and low near 60.
Current Surface Weather Map
Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) Surface Weather Map 48 hour loop forecast
National Weather Service Albany, NY Climate Data (Normals & Extremes table)
State University of New York at Albany (DEAS) weather page