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Warm, stormy afternoon expected in Buffalo Niagara; tornado is possible

The last full day of summer promises to be a bumpy one around the Buffalo Niagara region.

A strong cold front trailing a storm system passing to the north of the region could bring high winds, hail and even a remote possibility of tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.

Here's what to expect:

This afternoon

Temperatures and humidity are forecast to continue building, with heat indexes in the upper 80s. The winds will become stronger too.

Sustained southwesterly winds of 30 mph are forecast with gusts above 40 mph between about 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

A wind advisory is in effect for northern Erie, Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties.

A beach hazards statement also remains in effect for Erie and Niagara counties due to "strong currents and dangerous swimming conditions" posed by the winds crossing the lakes.

A line of thunderstorms is expected to cross the region later this afternoon.

That could bring a line of strong thunderstorms through Western New York with high winds and hail.

Forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center place Western New York under an "enhanced risk" for severe thunderstorms.

They said there's a 30 percent chance for high winds about a 5 percent chance for a tornado and hail.

Local forecasters also noted the possibility in the forecast discussion for the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service.

"Storm Prediction Center has upgraded the severe risk for today across Western and north-central New York to an 'enhanced risk,'" the weather service in Buffalo said. "This is mainly due to a slightly increased risk for tornadoes if, with emphasis on if, any discrete thunderstorms can fire well ahead of the main squall line."

This evening

Temperatures are forecast to drop precipitously behind the cold front, from the low 80s by 5 p.m. to the low 60s by midnight, the weather service said.

Westerly winds will stay breezy throughout the evening and become northerly by midnight.

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Much cooler conditions are forecast behind the passage of the cold front.

It'll be partly sunny, but temperatures are expected to peak near 60 degrees.

Fall officially arrives at 9:54 p.m.

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