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Buffalo could make history this year for late onset of snow

Buffalo is likely to make weather history this week.

And this time, it’s not because we’re about to get dumped on with several feet of snow.

In fact, this year, we are in the running for the latest measurable snowfall ever. Usually, Buffalo has somewhere around 7 inches of snow in November.

So far this year, however, Buffalo has gotten only a “trace” of snow – which is, it turns out, an actual term that means less than one-tenth of an inch.

Only five times since 1871 has Buffalo waited until December for its first measurable snowfall, according to Dan Kelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The latest-ever first measurable snowfall in Buffalo’s history was back when William McKinley was president. In 1899, it wasn’t until Dec. 3 that enough flakes accumulated to total more than a tenth of an inch.

That means if we can stave off the flakes just a few more days, this year will make weather history.

“Based on the forecast, it looks like a possibility,” Kelly said.

High temperatures over the next few days will be unseasonably mild, he said: in the mid-40s on Monday, the low 50s on Tuesday and the mid-50s on Wednesday.

Lows will be in the mid-30s Monday night and in the mid-40s Tuesday night.

That continues the trend we’ve had the past few weeks.

Although November isn’t quite over, so far, the average temperature has been 47 – nearly 6 degrees warmer than normal, Kelly said.

If the forecast holds true, this year’s November will rank among the 10 warmest in Buffalo’s history.

What December holds, though, remains to be seen.

“We do have a strong El Niño that’s going on right now. That does kind of suggest warmer temperatures over this area,” Kelly said.

“They say that in El Niño years, we usually get less than normal lake-effect snow. However, we could still make up for that with just the regular snowstorms.

“It could go either way,” Kelly said.

email: mpasciak@buffnews.com