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Buffalo's January weather roundup


January 2017 tied its 1998 counterpart for the eighth-warmest January in Buffalo since World War II.

At an average temperature of 31.1 degrees, only January 2006 (34.8 degrees) and January 2002 (31.5 degrees) were warmer this century.

It was springlike on Saturday, Jan. 21 when the mercury soared to 60 degrees. (Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News)

Highs and Lows

HIGH: 60 degrees, Jan. 21

LOW: 5 degrees, Jan. 7

Monthly Averages for January

HIGH: 36.8 degrees, (5.6 degrees above normal). Last year: 33.9 degrees.

LOW: 25.3 degrees, (6.8 degrees above normal). Last year: 19.9 degrees.

MEAN: 31.1 degrees, (6.1 degrees above average). Last year: 26.9 degrees.

Daily highs

Teens: 3 days // 20s: 4 days // 30s: 11 days // 40s: 10 days // 50s: 2 days // 60s: 1 day



More than half of the month's 11 inches of snowfall at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport came last Saturday, on the 40th anniversary of the Blizzard of '77.

The 11 inches of snow was much less than an average January in Buffalo. It finished 11th on the list for least amount of snow recorded at the Buffalo airport.

A lake-effect snowstorm stalled over a line from Blasdell to West Seneca on Jan. 5, dumping more than two feet of snow on the area. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Total January Snowfall: 11.0 inches, (14.3 inches below normal).

Daily high: 5.6 inches, Jan. 28.

Historical record: 68.3 inches, Jan. 1977.

30-year average: 25.3 inches.

January 2016: 25.6 inches.

January 2015: 25.0 inches.


Lake Erie

The warmer than average January left Lake Erie's waters mostly free of ice. The water temperature at Buffalo only toe-touched the freezing mark on two days - Jan. 7 and 8 - before climbing to their highest readings of the month - 35 degrees - by the month's final week.

Less than five percent of the lake was covered with ice by Tuesday. Normally, more than half of Lake Erie is already encrusted in ice by the end of January.

That, of course, means the threat for lake-effect snow continues into the month of February.

The ice that could be found on Lake Erie earlier in the month melted away rapidly with a stretch of warm weather in the middle of the month. #EveryDayAPhoto (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)


Jan. 1: 34 degrees / Jan. 31: 34 degrees

Highest temperature: 35 degrees, Jan. 28-30. (Historical High: 43 degrees, Jan. 1-2, 2007)

Lowest temperature: 32 degrees, Jan. 7-8.

Average temperature: 33.5 degrees

Ice Cover

Jan. 1: 1.51 percent (normal 16.1 percent) // Jan. 31: 4.84 percent (normal: 54.4 percent)

Highest percentage: 34.72 percent, Jan. 10

Lowest percentage: 1.51 percent, Jan. 1

Average percentage in 2017: 10.57 percent


Three other interesting facts from January 2017:

  • January 2017 ended tied for seventh all-time (dating back to 1870) for least average daily snow depth at 0.5 inches. The deepest the snow got at the Buffalo airport during January was five inches on Jan. 29. On 17 days, there was zero snow reported on the ground at the airport. The all-time record is all 31 days, set in 1933.
  • Despite the drastic reduction in snowfall this January, precipitation ended the month only about a quarter-inch below normal thanks to three days of rainfall of one-third inch or more.
  • The highest wind gust of the month was 60 mph on Jan. 11. It was the strongest gust recorded at the Buffalo airport since a 62 mph gust last July 14.


Sources: National Weather Service, Buffalo; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

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