The Buffalo thaw is coming, beware of flooding - The Buffalo News
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The Buffalo thaw is coming, beware of flooding

Yes, the sun is out today but now we move from blizzard warnings to a flood watch this weekend.

“It’s definitely going to get warm,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock said.

From a high in the low 20s today, to upper 30s on Friday, the thermometer could hit 50 on Saturday.

And there will be up to a half inch of rain Saturday.

“If you combine that rain with the increase in snow melt,” he said, “It may cause some flood issues.”

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Erie and Cattaraugus counties from early Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. There could be ice jam flooding at the usual places on Cayuga, Cazenovia and Buffalo creeks in Erie County, as well as Cattaraugus Creek on the border of the two counties. Localized flooding could occur on some smaller streams, too, Hitchcock said.

Ice now covering the creeks now will break into chunks as it melts in the warmer weather and moves down stream.

But anywhere the ice can get hung up, either on a bend in the waterway or a bridge, the ice can jam up, form a dam and cause localized flooding, Hitchcock said.

“Most of time when this happens, it only happens for one to two days,” he said.

Saturday looks to be the high point in temperatures for this January thaw, as temperatures will reach a high in the upper 30s on Sunday, 40s on Monday, then more typical weather.

“It’s been a roller coaster pattern for sure,” Hitchcock said.


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