A stiff breeze directly out of the south pushed the temperature at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport up to 58 degrees Monday night, a new record high.
Aided by wind gusts of up to 36 mph, the unusual winter warmth blew past the old record high of 55 degrees, set in three prior years, most recently in 1982.
"We just got a real warm southerly flow that pushed out ahead of the cold front," said Aaron Reynolds, National Weather Service meteorologist. "It was a perfect southerly flow. It's coming almost due south."
Temperatures kept climbing Monday evening, before finally peaking at about 8:30 p.m.
But don't go pulling the golf clubs out of the basement. The rest of the week won’t be quite as balmy.
“We’re going to hit closer to where we should be this time of year,” said Reynolds.
That includes the possibility later this week of replenishing at least some of the snow on the ground that was lost as a result of warmer-than-normal temperatures over the past several days. The predicted high temperature for Tuesday is 36 degrees, with a chance of snow showers. More wind also is on tap, with gusts as high as 36 mph.
A higher likelihood of snow showers starts Wednesday night, followed by the possibility of a wintry mix of rain and snow on Thursday, when temperature are expected to top out at 37 degrees.
The chance of snow lingers Friday and Saturday, with a New Year’s Day that could feature sun and temperatures in the upper 30s.