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Despite wet forecast, many events plan to brave the rain

Forecasters started sounding the warnings for a “weekend washout” in Buffalo Niagara as early as Wednesday.

By Friday, the forecast already washed out a community parade and at least a pair of Saturday fireworks shows.

And late Friday night organizers of the 20th annual Ride for Roswell announced that the weather forced them to make some changes, dropping the longest segments of the event.

The 102- and 65.6-mile rides, which were scheduled to begin at 6:15 and 6:30 a.m. at the University at Buffalo North Campus, have been canceled, but riders have been encouraged to join other rides.

About 8,000 bicyclists are expected to participate, raising money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

The ride’s committee members will be looking at the forecast at 4:45 a.m. to determine if any other changes need to be made.

Participants were encouraged to keep tabs and exercise their best judgement on the outside conditions and dress appropriately, a spokesman for Roswell Park Alliance Foundation said.

Because of the severe weather forecast, rest stops and severe weather shelters are provided along each route.

The spokesman said event organizers will also stay updated on weather conditions and will transmit text alerts to riders who signed up with their mobile devices in the event of any other change. Updates will also be posted on the Ride for Roswell Facebook and Twitter accounts, and online at RideForRoswell.org.

Meanwhile, those participating in the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Erie County Federation of Sportmen’s Clubs’ free family fishing clinic Saturday at Chestnut Ridge County Park Pond might get as wet as the fish they’re trying to catch, but they’ll be fishing anyway.

Unless there’s lightning, the event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Commissioner’s Cabin, which is usually a closed area at the park, and allows participants to “learn about fish species, fishing techniques and tackle at the education stations before fishing in the productive pond” and get a free hot dog lunch, the DEC reported.

Those participating can bring their own fishing rods or borrow them at the event. Bait is provided.

In West Seneca, the scheduled afternoon parade for West Seneca Community Days will be a casualty of the weather, Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan said.

West Seneca officials said the inclement forecast resulted in scrapping the planned 2 p.m. parade. The evening fireworks show scheduled for Saturday was moved up a day and was slated to be held Friday night instead, Meegan said.

But all’s not lost.

The highly anticipated town festival will still be held at Veterans Park behind West Seneca Town Hall, 1250 Union Road, from 1 p.m. to midnight, despite the rain.

Musical entertainment will play, as scheduled, in the beer tent at the park, Meegan added.

Kenmore officials also moved up their fireworks, which were originally scheduled for Saturday because of the forecasted heavy rainfall. Instead, the show is to be held Friday night in Mang Park.

The National Weather Service started using the hashtag #WeekendWashout as early as Wednesday, telling Buffalo Niagara residents not to get their hopes up on the first full weekend of summer. That three-day lead time gave organizations and area residents time to plan, reschedule or downright stay home.

The forecast hasn’t improved since mid-week.

It might have actually gotten worse.

The weather service issued a flood watch for all of Western New York. Forecast models show the rain will start falling about 3 a.m. Saturday and not remit until Monday morning.

“An unusually well-organized area of low pressure for this time of year will stall over the upper Ohio Valley,” the forecast stated, adding that it “will generate a soaking rain across all of Western New York.”

Up to three inches of rain between overnight Friday and Sunday afternoon is possible.

Combined with the heavy precipitation will be unseasonably cool temperatures.

Saturday’s forecast high is 66 degrees, and Sunday is only supposed to “warm up” to 63 degrees.

Monday’s forecast shows some improvement. Partly sunny conditions are expected with temperatures in the mid 70s.

For those scoring at home, the daily rainfall record for Saturday is 1.29 inches, set in 2006. Sunday’s mark is 1.58 inches, set in 1957.

email: tpignataro@buffnews.com