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The heavy gusty rainstorms forecast for much of the Northeast later today are likely to miss the Buffalo-Niagara region, said Jon Hitchcock, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

“The chance of us getting severe weather is not quite zero, but it’s pretty close,” Hitchcock said. “There is a 30 to 40 percent chance of widely scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.”

The push of cooler less humid air due to descend later today is expected to generate heavy, gusty thunderstorms from the eastern Great Lakes to the central and northern Appalachians, mid-Atlantic and New England coast, according to AccuWeather forecasters in State College, Pa.

While the storms will be hit and miss, a few locations may be hit hard with brief powerful wind gusts, blinding downpours and travel delays.

Cities identified by AccuWeather for potentially severe thunderstorms and flash flooding are: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New York City, Albany and Burlington, Vt.

The last time it rained on Buffalo-Niagara was August 13 when .23 inches fell. Precipitation for the entire month is “pretty close to average” with a little over two inches falling to date, said Hitchcock.

The recent spate of nine rain-free days has dried out the soil’s surface, noted Hitchcock, but there is plenty of moisture further down. “It’s pretty normal to go seven to 10 days without rain in summer,” he said.

The cold front means a return to cool and comfortable weather this weekend, said Hitchcock, with high temperatures Friday and Saturday in the mid-70s and overnight lows in the 50s.

Next week expect a return to warmer more humid conditions with highs in the 80s.

email jkwiatkowski@buffnews.com