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What to expect the next 36 hours: Temperatures climb above freezing — and stay there

Starting today, the daytime temperature in Buffalo is forecast to be above freezing for the next five days.

That will be the first streak of its kind since Dec. 1 to 5, 2017.

You've earned it.

Another week of frigid cold and back-to-back days of lake-effect snow in metro Buffalo padded the season's statistics as the coldest start to winter in Buffalo in 22 years and vaulted the city to fourth place among the nation's most snowiest cities.

"The cold weather and areas of lake snows from the past several days will give way to a pronounced warming trend," the National Weather Service said. "High pressure settling off the coast of the Carolinas will pump progressively milder air into our region during the course of the weekend."

Here's what the weather service says to expect:

Today

Temperatures are forecast to climb from the low 20s to 32 degrees by 1 p.m. and then top out near 34 degrees during the afternoon hours.

Forecasters are calling for a partly sunny day, but it'll be breezy. Southwest winds could gust over 30 mph.

Mostly cloudy conditions are expected tonight, with the mercury only bottoming out near 30 degrees.

Saturday

It'll stay breezy, but it will feel noticeably warmer with a high near 40 degrees.

Cloudy conditions are expected. Weather service forecasters said that's common during a mid-winter warm-up, because the warmer air crossing snow-covered ground creates a deep layer of low level moisture.

Temperatures are expected to stay above freezing overnight with a low in the mid 30s.

Sunday

Clouds are expected again with a daytime high rebounding back to the low 40s.

Chances for rain showers increase as the evening wears on. The overnight low will be in the mid to upper 30s.

Next week

Monday looks to be the warmest day of this round of January thaw, but it could be wet. There's a 60 percent chance for rain as a cold front approaches the Buffalo Niagara region.

The high ahead of the front will peak near 50 degrees.

That could also pose an increased risk for another round of ice jams and flooding, the weather service said in its hazardous weather outlook.

Rain is likely overnight Monday, but temperatures aren't expected to dip below 40 degrees overnight with a continuing chance for showers through Tuesday morning.

"The combination of rain, and increased snowmelt from higher temperatures and dewpoints may bring some flood concern by later Monday and Monday night," the weather service said. "This warm-up is not as dramatic as last weekend, and rain amounts are also likely to be lower."

It added: "Nonetheless, there may be some potential for ice jam flooding by late Monday and Monday night."

Tuesday's high should also make 40 degrees earlier in the day, but rain could shift back to snow showers later as temperatures start dropping back toward normal January-type weather for the balance of the week.

Forecasters will be watching that closely too.

"Will have to keep an eye on how the ice cover on Lake Erie evolves over the early week warm-up as it will have an impact on the magnitude of whatever lake-effect snow develops in Western New York," the weather service said.

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