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Let's talk about the weather

   Unlike a place like, say, San Diego, Buffalo has the kind of weather that regularly intrudes on the day-to-day lives of its residents.

   We have some of the best summer weather in the Northeast - and some of the harshest winter weather in the country.

   Out-of-towners tend to focus on the latter when they think of our city, much to the consternation of Western New Yorkers who travel and hear the same trite joke everywhere about there only being two seasons in Buffalo.

   The Weather Vein, our new weather blog, will cover all four seasons we enjoy here. We hope it becomes an online home for commentary on all things weather in Western New York.

-- John F. Bonfatti

Weather info bonanza

  A great source for a lot of information about Buffalo weather - past, present and future - is the National Weather Service's  Web site, which can be found at ww.weather.gov/buf.

   Although its design is not particularly intuitive and it can be frustrating trying to find specific information, a little patience and perseverance will be rewarded with a treasure trove of facts about not only our weather here, but national and international weather.

   Of course, the forecast is featured front and center in both words and graphics. But if you're looking for the "whys" behind the forecast, check out the site's forecast discussion.

[The “whys” of local weather are something we intend to address on this blog, by the way.]

   Updated several times a day, the discussion is an explanation of what factors are behind the forecast, and details what forecast models are saying about what's ahead.

   Sometimes, there's an abundance of jargon and abbreviations that won't be immediately familiar to the non-professional.

   But recent changes allow readers to click on terms for a deeper explanation, and, after reading them for a few days, it's not difficult to pick up the gist of what's being said..

   The discussion can be found here.

-- John F. Bonfatti 

Dreaming of real fall weather

  Eighty-degree days in September? High 70s in October?

  Such unusually warm temperatures long after Labor Day can throw the Western New York psyche off a notch or two.

  Where are the blazing-red trees and cravings for a glass of warm cider? Instead, we’ve still been able to go to the beach and eat ice cream.

  This over-extended summer has been so confusing. Do I get out the winter clothes, or do I keep wearing summer outfits (which I’m sick of) to work, where the air-conditioning is still blasting?

  By now, we’ve usually pulled out the blankets and warm comforters and put them back on our beds. But the nights haven’t cooled down that much to need so many layers.

  And why bother putting away the porch furniture when it’s still warm enough to sit outside?

  This is the time of year when you want to make a pot of soup or chili to eat during Bills games. But it’s been too warm (even humid) to stand over a hot stove.

  We all know what’s going to happen: any day now, temperatures will plunge and we’ll wake up to snow on the lawn and ice on our cars.

  Good luck finding your winter coats and gloves, since you haven’t unearthed them yet from the back of the closet or from the dry cleaners.

And good luck finding the snow brush. We’ll certainly need it because the lakes are warm and the lake-effect season will likely be long.

  Having been lulled by the warm fall into thinking that winter would never come, we’ll all be doing a mad dash to empty our porches of furniture, dig out the boots, search for the socks and the sweaters, buy some blue juice to clean the slush off the car windshield; unearth the shovel or snow blower and install the storm windows.

In other words, September’s tropical weather will be just a memory.

What a surprise. 

-- Susan LoTempio

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