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Clear and cold today with a sprinkling of Thanksgiving Day snow flakes

The weather menu is serving up some cold turkey this Thanksgiving Day for Buffalo.

With a side of snow flurries.

Thanks to a passing cold front that went through the region overnight, today's high temperature is forecast to barely push above the freezing point and Thursday will mark the city's chilliest Thanksgiving in three years.

"As colder air continues to pour across the region Wednesday, there will be a limited lake response early in the day southeast of Lake Erie," the weather service reported.

Forecasters added there could be "some light nuisance snow showers found across the western Southern Tier through the first half of the morning before much drier air moves in."

Here's what to expect:


A slight chance for snow showers through the mid-morning. It will be partly sunny but temperatures aren't forecast to make it much above 34 degrees. A northwest wind will make it feel like it's in the 20s.


Chilly with lows about 26. A slight chance for snow showers develops just before dawn on Thanksgiving Day.

By turkey dinner time, forecasts show rain is possible to the north of the Buffalo metro area and snow to the south and east. (NWS)

Thanksgiving Day:

The 122nd running of the YMCA's Turkey Trot in Buffalo won't be as warm as the last two years, so bundle up.

At the 9 a.m. start of the race, the forecast temperature will be about 31 degrees, but a gentle southwest breeze will make it feel like it's about 21.

There's a chance for "a few nuisance lake-enhanced showers" northeast of Lake Erie and Ontario. The best chance for snow showers will be before about 2 p.m. with a chance for afternoon rain showers that will turn back to snow mixed with rain after dusk.

There's only a chance for a couple of tenths of an inch of snowfall at the most, forecasts show.

Otherwise, mostly cloudy conditions are forecast with a high in the upper 20s.

Southwest winds could gust to near 30 mph by the late afternoon through the early evening, forecasts show.

Thanksgiving Night

Snow showers become likely in the evening. A couple tenths of an inch are possible with an overnight low near 30 degrees.

Black Friday

Temperatures quickly increase from about the freezing point by 8 a.m. into the mid 40s by mid-afternoon behind a southerly flow.

South winds could be gusty again during the mid-afternoon hours, forecasts show.

The recent spate of cold weather, and some snowfall in the Southern Tier, has been key for ski country.

Holiday Valley was the first to announce an opening day. The Ellicottville resort said Wednesday afternoon that slopes will open Friday morning.

Here's a look at how this year's Thanksgiving stacks up weather-wise against past turkey days this century:

Year High Low Rain Snow Snow Depth
2017 Forecast 39° 30° 0.09" 0.7" 0"
2016 45° 34° 0.05" Trace 0"
2015 62° 42° None None 0"
2014 35° 28° 2" Trace
2013 27° 18° 3.4" 4"
2012 58° 33° 0" 0" 0"
2011 47° 32° 0" 0" 0"
2010 45° 31° 0.24" Trace 0"
2009 51° 40° 0.09" 0" 0"
2008 37° 34° 0" 0" Trace
2007 39° 26° 0.68" 0.2" 0"
2006 50° 27° 0" 0" 0"
2005 34° 14° 2.5" 1"
2004 41° 28° 0.12" Trace Trace
2003 44° 32° 0.31" 0" 0"
2002 32° 21° Trace Trace 1"
2001 52° 35° 0" 0" 0"
2000 24° 12° Trace Trace 20"


Two years ago, the 62 degree high tied 1983 for the warmest Thanksgiving Day in Buffalo since 1960.

The coldest during that time period came when the mercury dropped to 12 degrees in 2000.

The snowiest came in 1985 with 4.3 inches of snowfall.

And, the most snow on the ground on a Thanksgiving Day since 1960 came in 2000. There was 20 inches of snow.

That was generated by a massive Thanksgiving week lake-effect snowstorm that blitzed the metro Buffalo area and parts of the Southern Tier.

More than two feet of snow fell in a Thanksgiving Week lake-effect snowstorm in the year 2000, leaving 20 inches of snow on the ground for Thanksgiving Day. (NWS Buffalo)

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