Thunderstorm risk for GrassRoots and Shakespeare this weekend, says FLX Weather

Rain at some point in the weekend is almost a given for the GrassRoots Festival, but meteorologist Drew Montreuil of Finger Lakes Weather is “rather concerned” about strong thunderstorms this weekend. Festivalgoers should be prepared to find shelter. Drew says he’s “surprised the weather service, both locally and the storm prediction center, doesn’t seem to be as concerned about today yet.”

Thunderstorms are likely after 3pm today in the Trumansburg area, Drew says, with an “elevated risk of flash flooding and lightning.” Storms across the Finger Lakes are likely to continue until 8 or 9pm.

The GrassRoots Festival kicks off its live music on Thursday afternoon at 1:30, with the Bubba George Stringband.

“A disturbance moving into Ontario, Canada this morning is already producing showers and thunderstorms over the Upper Great Lakes,” Drew says, and “sunny skies this morning will help temperatures to rise and the atmosphere to become primed for thunderstorms.”

“All of the Finger Lakes region is succeptible to flooding with rain amounts of 1-1.5 inches in an hour or 2 inches or less in three hours,” he says. “There will also be a risk for some damaging winds and hail with these storms.”

Anyone outdoors, including those at the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, should keep an eye on the weather (follow our social media for storm warnings) and be prepared to take shelter in the event of severe weather. GrassRoots organizers will suspend performances on outdoor stages in the event of lightning storms, though the show usually goes on if it’s just raining.

If you’re camping, make sure your tent is properly waterproofed — ask a neighbor if you need help! Be aware of the potential for flooding in low spots and for streams of water running downhill through your campsite.

The weather could also affect this weekend outdoor Shakespeare in the Park performances. A performer tells us they play on through rain, unless there’s a torrential downpour, but to have to cancel the show if there’s a thunderstorm.

Drew also has concerns about Sunday. “Waves of thunderstorms are likely along the front this weekend, possibly spreading severe weather and flooding along their path.” He says damaging winds may be the primary threat in this storm system.

The good news is that both Friday and Saturday “look to be dry across the region.”

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