T.J. Pignataro - The Buffalo News

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T.J. Pignataro - Buffalo, NY

Environment Reporter for The Buffalo News since 2013. News Staff Reporter since 1998. Previous beat assignments included suburban coverage in WNY and the News' bureau at Buffalo Police HQ. Former staff reporter at the Altoona Mirror (1997-98) and Dunkirk Observer (1995-97), and assistant news director at WBTA-1490, Batavia (1994-95).


Local News

Whenever you are reading this today, this is as warm as the temperature will be. That's because, after a peak of 60 degrees late this morning, the mercury is on a rapid downward descent. The rain and melting snow led the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning by 7 p.m. for Tonawanda Creek at Batavia and Cattaraugus Creek at Gowanda. Tonawanda Creek is e…

Environment

The 1½-inch thick Swedish steel outfitted on the bow of Buffalo’s Edward M. Cotter fireboat churned through more than a half-foot of ice on the Buffalo River Wednesday. It was the third day in a row city crews prepped area creeks and streams for an inevitable January thaw coming Thursday and Friday that the National Weather Service cautioned could pose a risk for ice ja…

Erie County

Water and sewer projects, roof replacements and kitchen upgrades at a senior citizens center are some of the 13 projects Erie County intends to finance through federal Community Development Block Grants in 2018, County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced. Erie County would spend $1.4 million on the proposed projects and leverage $3.3 million more in local funds and ot…

Local News

Warm, springlike air Thursday will rapidly melt the snow pack, create substantial water runoff and initiate ice jam flooding on area creeks and streams. The National Weather Service posted a flood watch for all of Western New York from Thursday through Friday night. "Snow melt and warming temperatures Wednesday will soften river ice," the weather service said. …

Environment

WEST VALLEY – The building where the most highly radioactive materials at the West Valley Demonstration Project were once handled is being torn down. The vitrification plant is where 600,000 gallons of liquid nuclear waste were turned into glass cylinders in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The cylinders were then packaged in fives and welded into steel canisters before …

Local News

The January thaw is coming. Temperatures are forecast to rapidly increase starting Wednesday morning. They'll be into the 40s by afternoon, into the 50s on Thursday and remain above freezing until later Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service projects. Today's high is 31 and it's forecast to be partly sunny and breezy. Showers are likely Wednesday and could…

Local News

The last time the mercury in Buffalo rose above the freezing mark was a 33-degree reading on Christmas Day. It happened for the first time in 2018 at 6:05 a.m. today, according to National Weather Service data, when the thermometer toe-touched 33. It is expected to reach into the mid-30s today. By Thursday, a brief but exaggerated warm-up is also forecast. How doe…

Featured

CRYSTAL BEACH, Ont. – Lake Erie’s “ring of ice” is back. From Dunkirk to Point Abino, Ont., ice volcanoes, tall dunes and other icy formations dot the shoreline. A steady stream of ice gawkers pulled into the snow-covered parking lot at Crystal Beach Waterfront Park Friday. They gazed into the static Antarctica-like landscape from the comfort of their heated cars on …

Local News

It's not immediately possible to determine the last time it felt this cold throughout Western New York. The National Weather Service doesn't archive wind chill values the way it does air temperatures, but, it's fair to say this will be the coldest Buffalo has been chilled in years. How cold is a wind chill of 30 degrees below zero? http://buffalonews.com/2018/01/0…

Environment

As of Tuesday, Lake Erie was 91 percent covered in ice, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory data. That figure is forecast to grow again today as temperatures as much as 10 degrees below average are expected today and tonight. The current level of ice cover is the most so far in 2017-18, and well ahead of average, data shows. When…

Environment

Last year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo introduced a $2.5 billion program for clean water infrastructure as a way to assist communities plagued by sewage overflows, aged pipes and poor water quality. The effort will continue this year, Cuomo said during his State of the State address Wednesday. The state needs to improve drinking water quality and also eliminate harmful alga…

Bills

A little bit of Buffalo is arriving in Jacksonville, Fla., this week. It has nothing to do with football, but it's making northern Florida residents shiver. Jacksonville was bracing for four consecutive nights below freezing for the first time in seven years. The weather service there has lit up its website with scores of weather advisories, including wind chill a…

Environment

Imagine hiking or biking along a 25-foot-high elevated nature trail between Canalside and SolarCity. The Western New York Land Conservancy — and many residents in the Old First Ward and the Valley — can. A roughly 1.5-mile linear park that runs along the old Delaware, Lackawanna and Western (DL&W) Railroad line overlooking some of Buffalo's most historic — and re…

Local News

Yes, it was a blizzard. “The wind by itself dictated that. The blowing snow, the drifting snow,” said Aaron Reynolds, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Buffalo Tuesday night. And yes, it’s over, although it might not seem like much of a difference for the next few hours, mostly because of wind. At 10 p.m., the temperature stood at 14 degrees, …

Local News

It's been more than 80 years since the air's been this bitter for this long. At least three all-time records are in jeopardy Friday and Saturday. Here's what to expect: Today A frigid and breezy day with a high near 3 degrees and wind chills as low as -25, the National Weather Service said. There will also be some snow. A wind chill warning is posted for all of Wes…