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Weather set to snap record streak

It has been a record-breaking six months, in terms of warm weather.

But it's about to come to an end.

Forecasters are eyeing a change in the weather pattern that is expected to bring noticeably cooler temperatures and -- yes -- the real possibility of lake-effect snow this week.

It's not expected to be much, perhaps a few flakes in the air Tuesday or Wednesday in the Buffalo area, perhaps a few inches farther south in the traditional Snow Belt.

The long-delayed wintry weather will follow what the National Weather Service says was the warmest six-month period in the 137 years of recorded weather history in Buffalo.

Only October 1900 and October 1947 were warmer than last month, when the temperature averaged 58.8 degrees, more than eight degrees warmer than the October average.

Meteorologist Steve McLaughlin said warmer-than-normal Octobers have a "slight" connection with milder, less snowy winters.

He noted that winters following the 10 warmest Octobers in Buffalo weather history averaged 2.1 degrees above normal, with seven of those winters being warmer than average. Five of those winters had less snow than the 137-year average of 83.6 inches.

McLaughlin said today will be the last mild day for some time, with a high in the mid-50s.

"A strong system comes across the Great Lakes [today and Tuesday]," he said. "Then a sharp cold front is coming through [tonight], and there'll be some rain and wet snow showers everywhere, but no appreciable accumulation."

Snowflakes in the area this week would put us in line with when the first snow usually flies around here.

On average, Buffalo's first measurable snowfall occurs Nov. 7, its first snowfall of more than an inch occurs Nov. 18, and the first snowfall of 3 inches or more occurs Dec. 1.

"It's going to be cold enough Tuesday into Wednesday to ignite the lake-effect machine," McLaughlin said. "The winds, which should be more west than northwest, would put any potential lake-effect accumulation well south [of Buffalo]."

McLaughlin said any snow that falls in the immediate Buffalo area is unlikely to accumulate, while "there could be a potential for a few inches" in ski country.


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