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Staying The Course

‘Pleasant, Sunny Summer’ Expected To Continue

Families are pictured recently enjoying the nice weather and sun in Westfield. The National Weather Service said July ended up the warmest month on record for the Buffalo area. Photo by Natasha Matteliano

The National Weather Service announced over the weekend that July ended up the warmest month on record for the Buffalo area.

The average temperature — 77.6 degrees — beat the previous records of 76.2 degrees set in 1921 and 76 degrees set in 1955. The most recent records for Buffalo were set in 2016, when the average temperature in June was 75.6 degrees, and in July 2012, when the average was 75.5 degrees.

Summer weather in Chautauqua County, meanwhile, has been hot and dry this year and is expected to continue for the month of August.

The National Weather Service has stayed on top of getting alerts out when they needed to be this summer, with most of those alerts being for thunderstorms. There have been quite a few days with thunderstorms in the area, which is not abnormal, with many other days filled with light, normal and heavy rain. There was even a day with golf-ball sized hail reported and another in July with tornado warnings and high wind damage seen.

According to David Thomas, climate program meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Buffalo, June was a month of low precipitation, and see-sawing temperatures.

“Long duration warm or cold spells were not able to take a grip this June, with temperatures fluctuating between above and below normal,” Thomas said. “Throughout the month, precipitation area-wide was below normal for June, with the dry trend and high sun angle beginning to brown area lawns and vegetation.”

While temperatures have not been entirely consistent, the hot spurts have definitely been felt throughout the area. On June 10, Chautauqua County saw 90 degrees, hotter than the record from last year at 86 degrees. These high temps throughout June and July have made for great family beach days and fun nights out for ice cream lovers.

July held for an unusually hot month for Western New York, where the highest daily temperature only slipped below 80 once, on July 13 at 77 degrees. There were eight days total that maxed out at 90 degrees or above, including July 10 at almost 100 degrees. This left the rest of the month ranging from the low-80s to high-80s.

In June, the average temperature was almost a degree higher compared to last year.

“The first half of the month averaged just over a degree below normal, while the last two weeks averaged more than 3 degrees above normal,” Thomas said. “Above normal temperature days outweighed below normal temperature days. … Temperatures were not extreme for the month.”

After a number of thunderstorms in June, pleasant, dry summer conditions with abundant sunshine then remained over Western New York through the first week of July. The heat stayed for eight days in a row, reaching 90 degrees and above from July 3 through the 10th.

Lake Erie water temperatures warmed from 55 degrees at the beginning of June to 70 degrees at the month’s closure. This reading was 3 degrees warmer than normal.

“In all it’s been a pleasant, sunny summer,” Thomas said, noting that August will likely be very similar to June and July.

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