Share this article

print logo

If you want a warmer weekend, head to Alaska

It will be colder in Buffalo this weekend than Alaska, the Canadian Yukon and Greenland.

A weather pattern squeezing Arctic air southward across eastern Canada will make record-breaking cold possible across upstate New York, a forecaster said Thursday.

“The air that we’ll have will essentially be coming from the Arctic,” said Dave Zaff, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Blame that pesky polar vortex again.

Although a weakened polar cyclone made its normal trek over the Canadian Arctic archipelago, a pair of persistent high-pressure ridges to the far west and far east are helping to funnel cold air that was once part of the polar vortex even farther southward.

The pattern is stuck in place for now – helping keep April far chillier than usual across the Great Lakes and areas of the Northeast.

Daytime highs are supposed to be in the 50s this time of year in Buffalo, but they’ll be lucky to escape the 20s on Saturday and only rebound into the 30s on Sunday.

There’s a chance for snow showers Saturday and Saturday night. There’s also potential the cold will set records, the National Weather Service said.

Saturday’s lowest daytime high on record in Buffalo is 29 degrees, set in 1974. The record low for the date, 17 degrees, was set in 1972.

Sunday’s records – 26 for the high and 19 for the low – were both established in 1909.

Meanwhile, the central Alaska city of Fairbanks will enjoy sunshine with weekend temperatures expected in the high 40s, the weather service projects.

Environment Canada forecasts “a mix of sun and cloud” in Whitehorse, Yukon, with 51- and 53-degree days expected Saturday and Sunday.

Even Nuuk, Greenland, will be warmer. Temperatures near 40 are forecast there Saturday with mid-40s expected on Sunday.

So far, April – at an average temperature of 32.8 degrees – has run more than 8 degrees colder than average.

April has been 7 degrees colder than the overall average temperature for March – 39.9 degrees – and almost 10 degrees colder than December’s record-breaking 42.1-degree average.

There is some good news: Spring will return. Eventually.

Forecasters said another turn toward chilly weather during the middle of next week “should not be as cold as recent events, as the true Arctic air should largely be tapped out.”

email: tpignataro@buffnews.com