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Monday night cold front is only chance of rain soon

With Western New York’s weather for the last six weeks classified as “abnormally dry” by the National Weather Service, a system connected to a cold front offers the only anticipated rainfall in the next week.

Meanwhile, because of temperatures near 90 degrees, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality alert for all of Western New York from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. Strenuous outdoor activities should be limited because of expected high ozone levels, the DEC said.

Meteorologist Steven Welch of the weather service’s Buffalo office said “widespread light rain” is on tap when the cold front goes through Monday night and early Tuesday. Welch said rainfall of one-tenth to one-quarter of an inch is forecast, but that could be reduced if the front is weakened by the still-cool Lake Erie waters. The lake temperature Saturday was 64 degrees.

Sunday’s high temperatures near the lake will be in the upper 80s, with warmer readings farther inland. The thermometer again will near 90 on Monday. After the cold front passes, highs will be about 80 Tuesday and in the mid-70s Wednesday through Friday, Welch said.

Buffalo received 1.21 inches of rain in May, which is one-third of the average for that month, but most of it fell May 1 and 2, Welch said. In June, we’ve had 0.61 inches of rain so far, about 1.5 inches below normal.