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What to expect the next 36 hours: 'dangerous' winds, lakeshore flooding

Here's what to expect and when:

Today

"Particularly dangerous" winds upward of 70 to 80 mph are possible in the Buffalo Niagara region today.

The high winds started raking the region late this morning and are ramping up early this afternoon.

Southwest winds gusting to 58 mph were reported by the National Weather Service at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

As of just after 2 p.m., more than 30,000 National Grid customers were in the dark, according to the utility.

The National Weather Service, in a special weather statement this hour, said wind could "result in extensive damage to trees and power lines, widespread power outages and significant property damage, including damage to roofs."

Strong winds are forecast to extend into the early evening but diminish after sunset.

Excerpted from the National Weather Service's Special Weather Statement at 2:11 p.m.

The weather service's high wind warning states "very strong winds will result in numerous downed trees and power lines, widespread power outages and significant property damage."

The high wind warning runs through 10 p.m. for Northern Erie County, including Buffalo. Also included are Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties.

A lakeshore flood advisory is also in effect for Erie and Chautauqua counties along the Lake Erie shoreline.

 

 

Winds start to tail off in the early evening hours but could remain gusty well after midnight, according to forecasts.

Forecasters called the set up "unusual" and suggested this wind event could prove more damaging than others.

"The history of winds with this system continues to raise concern for damaging winds reaching across Western New York which could be more widespread than previous wind events that we have experienced during the past several weeks," forecasters said.

 

 

In places where soil is moist from February rain and snow melt, damage could be more widespread as conditions are "favorable for uprooting shallow rooted trees," forecasters said.

The winds are also expected to create a sizable seiche on Lake Erie. The lake's water level could increase by 6 to 7 feet today, forecasters warned. That prompted the lakeshore flood advisory, which runs through 10 p.m.

Excerpt from the Lakeshore Flood Advisory. (National Weather Service)

Temperatures will top out in the upper 40s today and start to slide back into the 30s by nightfall.

If this winter feels windier than usual, there's good reason

For those whose garbage day is Wednesday, it may seem like you're always chasing cans and recycling bins down the street.

There's a good reason for that.

In a strange coincidence, weather data shows Wednesday - with an average peak wind gust of 39.4 mph -- has been the windiest day of the first 10 weeks of 2017.

Otherwise, Thursday's average is the only other day above 35 mph, data shows.

Overnight

Overcast skies are forecast with temperatures dropping into the upper 20s.

Windy conditions continue with gusts over 30 mph through at least 3 a.m.

The continued windy conditions will make it feel like it's in the teens, according to forecasts.

Thursday

A more normal early March day.

A partly sunny day is expected with temperatures about average -- in the upper 30s.

Beyond

Another return to winter for a few days.

Temperatures are forecast to drop into the teens or below overnight Saturday as a blast of cold Canadian air takes over the Buffalo Niagara region. (National Weather Service)

Some of the coldest days of the year, generated by a deep pool of cold Canadian air, will visit Buffalo Friday and lasting through the weekend.

Forecasters call for chances for snow showers Friday with highs in the 20s and overnight lows near 10 degrees.

Snow showers are possible again Saturday with daytime highs only in the low 20s. Temperatures in the teens are forecast overnight Saturday.

Sunday will be partly sunny with highs in the mid 20s, according to the forecast.

Temperatures start moderating by early next week but remain a few degrees below normal.

The average high temperature this time of year is about 40 degrees.

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