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With soggy spring in past at last, region has fitting start to summer

Spring is over.

For some of us, it's good riddance. After suffering through what seemed like an endless stretch of cold, dank days, the season couldn't end too soon.

For others, the ones who don't think spring is complete without a proper interlude of sunshine and flowers, we haven't had enough.

In terms of misery, it was one for the Western New York record books. It included the wettest three-month period in history for March, April and May, topped off by a record rainfall of 8.09 inches for May, a month that normally sees only 3.35 inches.

Farmers fumed, unable to start planting their flooded fields. Golfers groaned as downpours kept them off the fairways.

Then, miraculously, everything has gotten back to normal during the last three weeks.

"Come to June here, we've dried out and warmed up," says meteorologist Aaron Reynolds of the National Weather Service Office in Buffalo. Rainfall for June, he notes, is 1.9 inches below normal, but "we could easily make that up with a thunderstorm."

Conditions should be appropriately summery when the new season officially arrives at 1:16 p.m. Skies should be partly sunny, with temperatures approaching the 80-degree mark.

As for making up our rainfall deficit, there's a small chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, but rain is much more likely today in the Southern Tier.

Wednesday and Thursday, the entire region is likely to experience occasional showers and thunderstorms.

What's in store for the rest of the summer?

It's hard to tell, says forecaster Reynolds. There's no climatic trend in the long-range outlook.

"For temperature and precipitation in this part of the country," he explains, "it could be above normal, it could be below or it could be right around normal. The summer could go either way."