The record-breaking warmer weather that we awoke to this morning soon will give way to colder temperatures, strong winds and potentially a few inches of snow, forecasters say.
The morning thermometer reading of 66 degrees at 7:30 a.m. was high enough to set a record for today’s date – with room to spare, according to meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
The old record of 56 degrees was set in 1916, said Jim Mitchell, a meteorologist at the service.
“This is very unusual for this time of year,” said Mitchell. “We did break the record – and we broke it by 10 degrees.”
What is coming next may be equally eye-opening for area residents, particularly drivers, weather experts said.
Temperatures will drop between now and mid-day Thursday, said Mitchell, who said the reading at the airport had plummeted to 57 degrees by shortly before 11 a.m. today.
By Thursday morning, temperatures will likely only be in the upper 20s, Mitchell said.
A high-wind advisory is in place for the region starting at 6 p.m. and extending into the middle of the day Thursday, around 1 p.m., Mitchell said.
The high winds expected may reach 55 mph in gusts, he said.
Also, rain and snow will fall across the region as the temperatures continue to descend, the National Weather Service meteorologist said.
Rainfall totals had accumulated to about .85 inches total, as measured at the airport, between 7 a.m. Tuesday and late morning today, according to Mitchell.
An estimated 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected to fall across the Buffalo area over the next day or so, Mitchell said.
Snow showers will likely continue Thursday and Friday, and possibly into Saturday and Sunday as well, he said.
“The lake effect machine will be turned on again, big time,” said Mitchell.
Snow falls might be higher in the areas south of the city, especially south of Hamburg, Mitchell said.
For residents, the typical cautions apply, including for drivers who should exercise special care on roads that may be changing from wet to frozen during the day and into the evening today, Mitchell said.
In other words: watch your evening commute and after-school trips.
“Look for slick sports on the roadways,” Mitchell said. “The roads could be pretty treacherous out there.”
Black ice, ponding on the roads, and poor visibility could be particular concerns, Mitchell said.
“As a driver, you could run into these things,” he said.
And with the high winds predicted, the meteorologist said, one added concern is for tree branches blowing down, including into roads.
“With the winds, there’s definitely some possibility for tree damage,” Mitchell said. “So be vigilant.”