For all the city’s attempts to make a good impression with the thousands of tourists headed to Buffalo for the NCAA tournament Thursday, there’s one thing it can’t control – the weather.
And Thursday’s forecast is not the nicest.
Basketball fans will be greeted with grey skies, cold wind and wet snow.
“It’s not going to be the greatest day,” said Jon Hitchcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
With Buffalo’s bad reputation for lousy weather, tourism officials might have hoped for a little sunshine, but knew they could expect anything from a March day in Buffalo.
Fortunately, fans coming to support teams from Milwaukee, Michigan, Syracuse, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Ohio are no strangers to cold, wet March weather.
“These are all teams that have similar climates to Buffalo, so weather is not going to be a surprise to anyone,” said Brian Hayden, a spokesman for Visit Buffalo Niagara.
Indeed, most fans leaving Wednesday will depart from the same kinds of cold, cloudy conditions.
Local temperatures Thursday are expected to peak in the mid-30s with some wet snow coating the ground in a light, slushy coating, according to the National Weather Service.
Friday, a non-game day when many fans are expected to venture out and enjoy the city, is expected to be a little more pleasant, with sunshine in the morning, highs in the upper 30s and not much chance of rain.
“Rain, snow or shine, we’re prepared to welcome visitors with open arms this week,” Hayden said.