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Nature’s air-conditioner – a stiff breeze off Lake Erie – took the edge off the sweltering heat Tuesday for most of Western New York and blew away the threat of afternoon thunderstorms.

Temperature in Buffalo peaked at 86 about 11 a.m., with a heat index of 90. High in Rochester was 89. Strong southwest winds gusted to 40 mph, sending the thunderstorms to the Finger Lakes and central Southern Tier.

The heat advisories posted by the National Weather Service for Genesee and Orleans counties, originally in effect until 9 p.m., were canceled three hours early.

Forecasters say the heat and humidity will stick around until a cold front arrives this evening, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. After that, it should be dry and sunny for the holiday weekend, with daytime highs in the mid 70s.