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The Sixties: coming this weekend to Buffalo Niagara; December warm streak continues

Enjoying the first week of December's nearly 40-degree average temperature in Buffalo?

You haven't seen anything yet.

The El Niño-fueled weather pattern will spawn temperatures into the 50s for the balance of this week.

And, Sunday will reach 64 degrees, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

That's a lot warmer than the average daily high is usually for Dec. 13: 37 degrees.


What it all means is this:

#1: Record set... "and counting"

The latest first measurable in Buffalo will be extended until at least next week. Heading into this season, the previous date for latest measurable snow was Dec. 3, 1899.


#2: Warmest December.

December 2015 will have a healthy head start on chasing down the warmest December in Buffalo's weather history in the same year it set the mark for the coldest month in its history last February.

Through the first eight days, the average temperature this month was 39.2 degrees, but accounting for the forecast through next Monday, that mark could grow to 43.6 degrees.

The average temperature for the first two weeks in December is 32.6 degrees.

The warmest December ever averaged 37.6 degrees in 1923.


#3: Green Christmas?

Any hope of seeing a White Christmas it seems may have to come through an 11th hour flurry, squall or storm as the days tick down to Dec. 25. Forecast temperature trends show temperatures Christmas week will remain well above-normal in the Buffalo Niagara region. 

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center shows that temperatures over the eastern half of the United States will remain well above-normal between Dec. 16 and 22.

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center shows temperatures over the eastern half of the United States will remain above-normal between Dec. 16 and 22.


#4: Lessons from 2001.

Lake Erie will flirt with its warmest water temperature this late in the year.

As of Tuesday, the water temperature at Buffalo was 45 degrees, according to NOAA data.

The last time it was this warm on Dec. 9 was 2011. And, with an average temperature of near 50 degrees over the next week, the water temperature won't likely drop any.

Remember 2001? It marked the warmest two-week start to December since weather records started being recorded at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and it was also the last time Lake Erie was as warm on Dec. 14 - 46 degrees.

In the interest of full disclosure: warm, open lake waters and a sustained blast of cold air don't mix.

The first 24 days of December 2001 ran above-average for temperature. Temperatures the last week were all below normal.

And, this happened:

Snowfall Totals at Buffalo

Dec. 1-23, 2001: 1.2 inches

Dec. 24-31, 2001: 81.5 inches*

* all-time record for most snow over one week time at BNIA.



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