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END OF NOVEMBER? RECORD WARMTH MAKES IT FEEL LIKE SPRINGTIME

What month is this, anyway?

Western New Yorkers hardly could be blamed for getting confused by the calendar Monday. It said it was the last day of November. It felt like the first of May.

Thanks to a strong flow of warm air blowing in from the southwest, the Buffalo area and most of upstate New York basked in record warmth.

It was 67 at the National Weather Service office at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, 1 degree better than the record high set in 1991. Rochester tied a previous record of 68. It was 69 in Dunkirk.

It was warmer here Monday than it was in Amarillo, Texas. Warmer than in Las Vegas. Warmer than in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Needless to say, it was too good to last.

Drier and noticeably cooler air is in the forecast for today. The high is expected to be in the upper 40s with a brisk wind.

But don't expect the arrival of December to mean snow.

The nearly snowless conditions of November are forecast to continue for at least a few more days. Temperatures are expected to be heading up again into the 50s on Wednesday and should stay well above freezing through the end of the week.

Winds gusting to more than 40 mph put an end to the record warmth Monday evening and brought widespread rain showers.

The warm weather was blamed for a rash of late-afternoon brushfires across Niagara County, the Sheriff's Department said.

The fire threat ended when a gusty rainstorm blew into the area about 8:45 p.m., causing some power problems.

About half of the Village of Youngstown lost power for almost an hour because of a downed wire. Stephen F. Brady, manager of public relations for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., said about 300 customers were affected by the power outage in Youngstown. The cause was a tree limb falling on a feeder line.

After power was restored, there was a report of a utility pole on fire on Lake Road, causing another isolated outage.

Meanwhile, a large tree fell across Youngstown Road in Wilson, blocking it for a time.

In Niagara Falls, a downed power line blocked the street in front of the Harpor Paper Co., 2403 Hyde Park Blvd. The wind left a utility pole leaning at Pierce Avenue and Whirlpool Street.

A car drove into a hole in the pavement at Niagara Falls Boulevard and 80th Street after barricades surrounding it blew down. The driver was unhurt. The pavement had been opened to repair a major water-main break last week.

The largest of the afternoon brushfires occurred on the south side of Lake Road near Nobel Drive in Wilson. The Wilson, South Wilson and Olcott fire companies were called out to extinguish the fire, which was reported about 4 p.m.

Other brushfires were reported on Ridge Road in Lewiston, fought by Lewiston Fire Company No. 1; Upper Mountain and Green roads on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, fought by Lewiston Fire Company No. 2; and Raymond Road in Wheatfield, extinguished by the Sanborn Fire Company.

Also, the Rapids Fire Company was sent to Salt Road in Clarence to assist firefighters there with a grass fire.

Thomas J. Prohaska of The News Niagara County Bureau contributed to this article.

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