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Severe thunderstorm watch in place until 8 p.m.

Today's going to be a scorcher with heavy rain later in the day.

Thanks to high temperatures and high humidity, weather forecasters say it's going to feel like the upper 90s across much of the region, including Buffalo and northern Erie County, as well as Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for those areas from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The weather service also issued a severe thunderstorm watch until 8 p.m. for Erie, Niagara, Genesee and Orleans counties.

A severe thunderstorm warning was in place from 1:20 p.m. to 2 p.m. for Lewiston and Youngstown moving southeast through Niagara County to northeast Erie County. Issued at 1:20 p.m., the warning said quarter-sized hail and winds up to 60 mph were possible with the storm.

This afternoon, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected across the area, with activity becoming widespread tonight. Thunderstorms may include torrential downpours and isolated thunderstorms may become severe with damaging winds, the weather service said.

Weather service forecasters called this a "tropical-like airmass" with precipitable water values at levels "nearly unheard of for our region, even during the heart of summer."

The weather service said scattered thunderstorms are forecast across the Buffalo Niagara region this afternoon. Instability from the heat and deep atmospheric moisture could lead to the potential for some strong storms with frequent lightning.

Much of the Niagara Frontier could be protected from the strongest storms thanks to a mitigating breeze off Lake Erie.

Late this afternoon and into early evening, however, the weather service said a robust trough "will drive a fairly strong cold front southwards into our region."

Forecasters are closely monitoring the timing of that because it could mean the difference another round of strong thunderstorms and localized torrential downpours.

Meanwhile, today's weather conditions will also create the potential for heat-related illnesses without taking the proper precautions.

Those who work or spend time outside should take extra precautions.

Tips to beat the heat

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Stay in air-conditioned rooms
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Check on relatives and neighbors
  • Reschedule strenuous activities to the early morning or evening
  • Wear light and loose-fitting clothing
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