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COMMENTARY

Expect more downs than ups in this week's temperatures

Don Paul

Compared to last week, which became marvelous Tuesday through Friday and again on Sunday, this week will be a little bumpier, with more thermal downs than ups. However, no extremes are involved, and the timing for a return to milder conditions is ideal.

After a somewhat unsettled and cool Monday with a high struggling to meet the low 50s, the sky brightens up again with some moderation Tuesday. Readings should move to the upper 50s to possibly low 60s on Tuesday, with abundant sunshine. A disturbance and an approaching cold front will bring a few rounds of showers and possibly some rumbles of thunder into Western New York by Wednesday morning.

The close spacing of the thin black isobars on that link implies gusty winds Wednesday, with some gusts possibly reaching 35-45 mph by Wednesday night into Thursday. That will probably knock some of the foliage off the trees. (More on foliage later in this article.)

Thursday will be the chilliest day of the week. Some might go beyond chilly and call it “cold,” considering the time of year. There will be a raw northwest wind with a few lake-enhanced rain showers, mostly on higher terrain south of the metro area.

The National Weather Service headquarters' high temperature forecast doesn’t tell the whole story for Thursday with its predicted 52. There will also be a noticeable wind chill. Temperatures on the hills will not exceed the 40s.

Friday will still be cool, but it won’t feel as chilly. The pressure gradient will relax, and the light winds will allow more outdoor comfort under more abundant sunshine.

The previously mentioned good timing for the next warm-up arrives for the weekend. Dry high pressure will dominate both Saturday and most or all of Sunday, with a building southwest flow. This will boost readings back to above average.

Temperatures will reach the low to mid-60s on Saturday and the upper 60s on Sunday. The average high for the 19th-20th is in the upper 50s. As for the game, it should be partly sunny, and a few showers should hold off until later in the evening. Wind does not currently look as though it will be a major factor in the game. Early tailgaters will deal with above-average readings, starting in the upper 40s and quickly jumping through the 50s to the 60s by midday … another gift from nature.

The above-average readings should continue into at least the first part of the following week, as seen in model ensembles. The Climate Prediction Center output is similarly running with high probabilities for above average warmth.

Looking toward the last week of October, there are hints in the ensembles of high pressure building aloft over western North America and a cooler trough setting up near the Great Lakes. This would bring a cooler pattern to our region, if not colder.

On the foliage front

You can extrapolate from last week’s New York State foliage report, since it won’t be updated until later this week. Foliage should be more advanced across the Niagara Frontier by next weekend, and there should still be some good to peak color on the hills to the south for the leaves that survive the gusty winds midweek.

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