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Temperature provides a break, soaring to a near-record 81

Rain-weary Western New Yorkers thought they had seen everything in this soggy month of April. Then along came Tuesday.

Depending on the locale, there was torrential rain and flash flooding, thunder and lightning, and sudden strong winds. To top it all off, it suddenly felt like summer. There was near-record heat.

In the Village of Wellsville in Allegany County, a sudden deluge of an inch or more at about 7 p.m. caused considerable flooding on the west side of the Genesee River. Fifteen streets were closed due to runoff from the hills, Wellsville police dispatcher Chris Perkins said.

There were no injuries, evacuations or other emergencies, he said.

Flooding cut off access to Riverside Plaza but did not reach the stores, Perkins said. Pavement was washed away on East State Street and Upper Pine Street, he added.

A midmorning downpour soaked the Buffalo metro area, but then the sun came out, and by afternoon, it seemed like the middle of July. At 2:35 p.m., the temperature hit a high of 81 at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga, just three degrees short of the record set in 1921. It was the warmest day of the year so far. Normal high for the date is 58.

Officially, only one-sixth of an inch of rain was measured at the National Weather Service office at the airport, but that edged the total for the month up to 5.58 inches.

It's already the fourth-rainiest April on record. The wettest April of all time was in 1961, when 5.9 inches fell.

"A lot of areas are real close to the record for the month of April," National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Reynolds said Tuesday evening. "There's a chance of more [this] afternoon. We're not getting a break from it."

The forecast calls for showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, with highs in the mid-70s.

Cooler temperatures are expected Thursday with a continuing chance of showers.

On Friday, there's still a 50-50 chance of rain.

e-mail: danderson@buffnews.com

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