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Summertime sizzle – finally

Eighty-seven. Eighty-eight. Eighty-nine. ...

Turn up the AC. Grab a tall glass of ice water. And, keep an eyeball on the thermometer.

The heat in Buffalo is cranking up. And, if the benchmark for real summertime sweat in Buffalo is going to happen this summer, this would be the week.

“It looks like Wednesday is going to be the best chance,” said Steve Welch, meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “If it gets there, it depends on how the breeze sets up off the lake.”

The mercury Monday fell just short of putting an end to the sixth-longest recorded stretch in Buffalo without a 90-degree reading – now at 741 days – when it reached a sultry 89 degrees at 2:59 p.m. at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

It was the fourth day in a row with temperatures above 80 degrees. The average high temperature in Buffalo this time of year is 80 degrees.

“We’re in a southerly flow,” Welch said. “It’s definitely some of the warmest weather of the season so far.”

Places close to Lake Ontario, as well as well east of metro Buffalo, could see temperatures above 90 degrees Wednesday, according to meteorologist Shawn Smith.

With that forecast in mind, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown announced Tuesday that all outdoor pools, wading pools and splash pads in the city will remain open an hour later – until 8 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday.

In an otherwise tepid few weeks that’s seen a couple daily highs that didn’t even escape the upper 60s, Monday’s bright sunshine with the heat and no wind finally had the feel of old-time summer.

A cold front is then forecast to push through the region with some showers and a chance of thunderstorms into early Thursday that will drop the thermometer into the low 80s through early next week.

Winds were expected to remain slight over the next couple of days as humidity builds, forecasts show, which could make it feel even stickier than Monday.

Heat indexes will also increase during the afternoon hours Tuesday and Wednesday, topping out at 92 degrees between 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday, weather service forecasts graphs show.

Since July 16, 2013 – the last of a three-day streak of 90-plus degree weather in Buffalo – the thermometer has peaked at 89 degrees five times, including Monday.

The others were May 9; June 28, 2014; and July 17 and 18, 2013, according to National Weather Service data.