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May 2015 ranks as fifth-warmest in 145 years

We’ve felt warmer months of May in the recent past.

But this year’s version feels all the warmer coming off below-normal readings for every other month this year including February, the city’s coldest month ever recorded.

Heading into Friday, the average high temperature for May was 72.7 degrees – more than six degrees warmer than average. It ranks fifth on Buffalo’s all-time list for May average temperature in 145 years.

The highs both Friday and Saturday were also expected to reach or exceed 80 degrees. It would the be the ninth and 10th such days in May.

“It’s definitely abnormal,” said Steve Welch, meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

By comparison, the thermometer hit 80 degrees for the 10th time last year on June 22.

May’s exit will be on the cool side, thanks to a strong cold front that will pass through the region during the day Saturday, which will send temperatures plummeting from the mid-80s during the afternoon down into the 60s by dusk and then the upper 40s early Sunday morning.

“Once the cold front goes through, the high temperature is only going to be about 60 degrees on Sunday with much cooler air coming in behind it,” Welch said.

Associated with the cold front will be rounds of showers and thunderstorms, the likes of which the region hasn’t experienced since last fall.

Buffalo, as of Friday, was on a streak of 236 consecutive days with less than three-quarters of an inch of precipitation. That’s the sixth-longest ever recorded.

As much as an inch of rain could fall by the time all is said and done late Sunday.

That’s more precipitation than what has fallen thus far the entire month of May – 0.83 inches – which is more than 2 inches below normal and, as of Friday, was on pace to be the fourth-driest May ever in Buffalo.

Temperatures will moderate slightly on Monday back into the 60s and reach the 70s again by Tuesday, according to weather service forecasts.

email: tpignataro@buffnews.com