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Much-needed rain in the offing over next few days

Dust off your rainy-day plans. There’s a good chance you’ll need them this weekend.

A good shot of rain is expected during next few days, says National Weather Service meteorologist Kirk Apffel, beginning with a 30 percent chance of an afternoon shower Thursday and Friday.

Periods of rain and scattered thunderstorms are likely Saturday and Sunday with highs in the low to mid 80s. Get ready for a moist air mass and that muggy feeling, Apffel says.

“The rainfall could be beneficial to relieving some of the drought conditions,” he notes. “But the potential for some local heavy rains could produce isolated flooding. You want a little rain, but not too much.”

Western New York got a preliminary wet-down early Wednesday – officially .37 of an inch – as thunderstorms moved through the region. Downpours late Wednesday afternoon drenched Jamestown and southern Chautauqua County with 1 to 2 inches, causing flash flooding.

The overnight storm cut power to 2,600 customers in Akron, Clarence and East Amherst, NYSEG reported. Nearly 1,700 of them were in Clarence Center, where power lines were reported down on several roads.

A lightning strike was reported in South Buffalo, where 400 people lost power, said Patrick Stella, spokesman at National Grid. The strike caused a chain reaction when it hit a tree at Abbott Road and Downing Street, and the tree struck a utility pole.

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