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August breaks record as hottest in Buffalo history, and heat isn’t over yet

August became the hottest on record in Buffalo.

But even as a passing cold front ushered in a cooler respite Wednesday, summer’s heat is far from finished.

It’ll stay hot and humid for at least a few more weeks, the federal Climate Prediction Center projects.

The front brought the second below-average temperature day of the month and some much-needed rainfall.

But it couldn’t stop the heat-related weather records or other statistical extremes during August.

Among them:

• The average monthly temperature for August finished at 75.6 degrees – nearly a half-degree warmer than the previous record set in 1947.

• August almost became the city’s warmest month ever, but July 1921 remains the warmest with its average temperature of 76.2 degrees. This past August finished in third place behind July 1955 (76 degrees).

• August had more days of at least 80 degrees than any other August in Buffalo – 28.

• For many, overnight sleeping seemed more uncomfortable than usual for a reason. The average daily minimum temperature, usually recorded overnight, was just 66.6 degrees.

That’s also the warmest August for average daily low temperatures since official record-keeping started at the airport in 1943.

• The 76-degree low temperature on Aug. 13 set a record for the warmest minimum temperature for the date, breaking a mark of 75 degrees set 98 years ago.

• Every day in August, except for Aug. 22, recorded above-average temperatures.

• For the first time in records at the airport, the thermometer hit 80 degrees for each of the first 20 days of August. The streak of temperatures in the 80s fell short of the all-time record of 32 days, but it was the sixth-longest in Buffalo.

• There were four 90-degree days in August, matching the city’s average for a whole year.

• Lake Erie’s temperature at the Buffalo water intake, 79 degrees on Aug. 13 and 14, marked the warmest readings there in five years.

August became the first month since February to receive a higher amount of precipitation than average.

As of 7 p.m., 4.17 inches had fallen at the airport in August. The average monthly rainfall is 3.26 inches. More than one-third of the monthly rainfall fell on a single record-breaking day – 1.54 inches of rain on Aug. 25, breaking a mark of 1.46 inches set in 1982.

For the year, Buffalo remains about seven inches below average for precipitation.

That prompted the federal government to designate two dozen upstate counties, including all of Western New York, as natural disaster areas, according to an announcement Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The drought ravaged area crops and farmlands. The disaster declaration is designed to help affected farmers with emergency loans from the federal government to offset losses.

There’s no rain in the forecast at least through the middle of next week, the weather service forecast shows.

After daytime highs in the mid- to upper 70s through Saturday, the predicted temperatures for the coming holiday weekend get back into the 80s on Sunday, into the mid-80s on Labor Day and the same for the first day back to school for some area children on Tuesday.

After that, above-average warmth – about 10 degrees warmer during the day and night – is expected to persist, according to forecasters.

Average daytime highs for the first week of September are in the mid-70s. Overnights usually cool off into the mid-to-upper 50s.

email: tpignataro@buffnews.com

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