Extreme heat is on the Buffalo Niagara region's doorstep. Forecasts show it will stick around for a while.
Over the next week, temperatures in the upper 80s and a sustained streak of 90s are forecast in Buffalo.
"It's pretty anomalous in terms of the duration," said Dave Zaff, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. "We typically get the low 90s a couple times a year. What is unusual about this one is the length of it: we start tomorrow and go right through the 4th of July holiday."
The extreme heat is being generated by a stout area of high pressure that will dominate the entire eastern two-thirds of the country from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast over the next week.
"This one is unusually strong," Zaff said.
Forecasts call for at least five consecutive days of 90 degree temperatures or higher in Buffalo.
That's only happened three times before in the city's history. Most recently, there was a week-long streak from July 4-10, 1988.
Zaff pointed to July 2011 as the last time Buffalo experienced such a long-lived streak of extreme warmth.
Temperatures were at or above 85 degrees every day from July 15-23, 2011, with a 95-degree day on July 22, 2011.
What's more, there was only one daily high temperature below 80 degrees that month — a 79-degree reading on July 13, 2011.
The air temperature at Buffalo has never officially hit 100 degrees.
Its warmest day on record — 99 degrees — came on Aug. 27, 1948.
The mercury isn't forecast to get close to that in Buffalo, but spots away from the moderating influence of the lakes could flirt with the upper 90s, forecasts show.
Along the ridge across Niagara, Orleans and Monroe counties, for instance, forecasts show temperatures are expected to reach into the mid to upper 90s on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Heat indices — what it feels like when you combine high temperatures with humidity — are expected to peak in the triple-digit range across parts of Western New York.
The National Weather Service in Buffalo posted a heat advisory for all of Western New York from noon Saturday until 10 p.m. Monday.
For Erie County, Wyoming County and the western Southern Tier, forecasters said to expect the highest heat index values to occur from noon through about 8 p.m. They'll be as high as the mid 90s on Saturday and up to 102 degrees on Sunday and Monday, forecasters said.
"Consecutive days of dangerous heat and humidity will bring an increased risk for heat-related illness," the weather service said. "The elderly, very young, and those with heart and respiratory conditions that don't have access to air conditioning are especially at risk during long-lasting heat waves."
The heat wave will be even more intense in Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties, the weather service said.
Heat indices are expected to spike to 102 degrees on Saturday and up to 107 degrees on Sunday and Monday.
There will be little respite from the oppressive heat and humidity when the sun goes down either.
Forecasts project the overnight temperatures won't drop below the 70s in the Buffalo Niagara region on Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday night.