BUFFALO, N.Y. — The month of October in Western New York weather history, early season snow storms dumped feet of snow to parts of the area.
In 1955, daily record rain and a 24-hour rainfall of 3.11 inches was recorded at the Buffalo Airport.
In 1995, remnants of Hurricane Opal passed near Buffalo off to the west, and brought two to three inches of rain for much of the area. There were even isolated amounts of near four inches reported in some parts of the western Southern Tier along with some flooding.
In 1991, the first cold spell of the season and thunderstorms, along with 0.2 inch of sleet recorded. It was the earliest measurable snowfall received in Buffalo establishing a record for the date.
In 1991, heavy wet snow of 8 to 10 inches fell in Allegany county which brought down trees and power lines, and also caused closings of some schools.
In 1950, in 24 hours 1.53" of rain was recorded at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
In 1906, a large snowstorm hit the Niagara Frontier, 2.6" of heavy wet snow was reported. Many leaves were still on trees and many tree limbs were brought down along with wires. Two deaths were reported by broken wires.
In 1932, lake waters increased in the Buffalo Harbor from a strong southwesterly wind, and one vessel, the freighter Norway, broke away and dragged its anchor causing some damage. Several other smaller boats were overturned.
In 1992, strong winds were recorded mostly along Lake Erie including gusts of 54mph at the Buffalo Coast Guard.
In 2006, the major October snowstorm of 2006 happened. Heavy rain turned to heavy wet snow which dumped 22.6 inches of snow at the Buffalo Airport in 24 hours. One foot was recorded in just 4 hours. Many leaves were still on trees and the heavy wet snow brought down communities of trees. Those damages are still seen today. One death was reported, a man killed from a large falling tree limb. Depew, Lancaster and Alden received 24 inches, and Amherst up to 22 inches.
In 1999, strong winds brought down trees that damaged homes in South Buffalo and Elma. Hail was also reported in many cities in Erie county. Peak wind gusts of 71 mph were reported in Lewiston.
1983: A cold front brought strong gusty winds up to 60mph and hail. Many trees and power lines were reported down and 2200 homes in Amherst lost power.
1989: Severe storms blew over trees and power lines in places such as Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties. A house trailer was blown off its foundation in Hartland. In Medina, 7000 residents lost power and the Medina Armory had part of its roof peeled off. Nearly a million bushels of apples in Niagara and Orleans counties were damaged by hail and strong winds.
2001: Strong winds ahead of a cold front brought down trees and power lines in South Wales, Jamestown, Belfast and Dunkirk.
1954: Strong winds by remnants of hurricane Hazel caused damage.
1984: Dense fog was reported across much of Western New York.
1992: Damaging winds were reported in the Buffalo metro area bringing down some trees and power lines. Wind gusts up to 58mph were recorded along Lake Ontario.
1947: Record high temperatures of 80 degrees in Buffalo then 85 degrees on October 17th, and then 84 degrees made for a three day stretch of record highs that year.
2001: Downed trees were recorded in Salamanca, Jamestown, and Colden from strong winds.
1967: Up to 4 inches of rain was recorded in the hills of Cattaraugus county.
1981: Wind gusts up to 56mph at the Buffalo Airport, and 6500 homes lost power locally. Some beach erosion happened on the east shore of Lake Erie.
1988: Gusty winds caused power outages and in Kenmore a large tree was blown onto a truck. Heavy rain also caused some flooded roads and basements in the southern tier.
1990: Strong winds brought down trees and power lines in the Niagara Frontier and western southern tier.
1996: Rainfall of three to four inches recorded across the Genesee Valley from an intense storm system. Roads were closed and many basements flooded including in Albion.
1995: Wind damage was reported in Mayville, Franklinville, and Hamburg from a strong cold front. Heavy rain also fell resulting in street flooding near Ripley.
1976: Waterspouts over Lake Erie near the Buffalo Harbor were seen by many in office buildings in downtown Buffalo.
1993: Strong winds funneled down Lake Erie and caused damage including in Dunkirk where a 40 foot tree fell landing on a passing car and trapped the driver for half an hour. The tree also flattened a minivan and another car. Scattered power outages and downed trees were reported throughout Erie and Chautauqua counties. A peak wind gust of 61 mph was recorded at the Buffalo Airport.
2001: Thunderstorms moved into the western southern tier causing damage to trees and power lines in Lakewood, Ellicottville, Franklinville and Cuba. A barn in Lyndon had extensive structural damage when portions of the roof were ripped off. Inch size hail was also reported with the storms covering the ground.
1976: Heavy snow hit Mayville and up to 12 inches of snow in Cherry Creek and 9 inches in Little Valley. Schools were closed in Andover, Belmont and Cuba from the heavy snow which brought down tree limbs onto power lines in many locations.
1953: Forest fires happened and all state forests and parks were closed, after a 31 day stretch of dry conditions with very little rain.
1937: Snow and strong winds caused accidents just south of Buffalo. And a 60 foot sailboat near Point Abino, Canada was abandoned by its five crew members as it went down from the winds which eventually crashed against the northern breakwall at the foot of Porter Street.
1980: Rain from a strong storm system measured up to 3.5 inches causing Buffalo and Cayuga creeks to flood. Five people were killed in an accident in the Buffalo area while driving in the heavy rain. Rain ended as snow and up to 5 inches of snow was reported over parts of the western southern tier. Gusty winds tossed some small boats ashore and were damaged in Buffalo Harbor. Waves washed ashore and closed Old Lake Shore Road.
2001: Damaging winds brought down trees and power lines in Buffalo, Lockport and Royalton. A large tree also crushed a minivan and two people in it were injured.
1967: Heavy lake effect rain, snow, sleet and hail centered over the Buffalo Airport and localized flooding was reported.
1981: Heavy rain caused flash flooding in Allegany country and families were evacuated in Wellsville and Scio, also four school districts were forced to close.
1983: Gusty winds up to 61mph were reported at the Buffalo Airport. In Bergen, a seven year old boy was killed when a tree branch fell and hit him.
1934: Several waterspouts were recorded near Buffalo including a waterspout visible from the Weather Bureau Office over Lake Erie just outside the outer break wall.
1996: Damaging winds brought down some tree limbs and power lines causing tens of thousands of people to be without power. The winds tore a section of roof off a Buffalo Raceway Barn in Hamburg and a car was crushed by a falling tree in Tonawanda. Gusty winds up to 69mph were reported at the Buffalo Coast Guard station.
1954: A snowstorm dumped up to 10 inches of snow over parts of Chautauqua county, and just an inch reported at the Buffalo Airport.
1963: It was the second driest October in 93 years in Buffalo with 23 days straight of no rain. There was a ban on hunting and low water levels dried up some well and streams and parks were closed.
-Initial data reports from NWS
During the month of September in Western New York weather history, several waterspouts were reported, also remnants of a hurricane and a tropical storm brought flooding rain.
In 1977, thunderstorms in the town of Dayton caused lightning, that struck four children and caused serious injuries to two of the children. Also, high winds, hail, and lightning left power line and tree damage especially near Cherry Creek.
In 1970, heavy rain caused extensive damage in places such as northern Chautauqua county, where more than two inches of rain fell in a four-hour period, which washed out vineyards and closed roads.
In 1929, a storm moved across Buffalo and had rainfall of 1.61 inches in less than 2 hours. The Hertel-Colvin section had moderate flooding, street and railway traffic was delayed quite a bit.
In 2004, Western New York had drenching rains from remnants of hurricane Frances, and rainfall totaled 3 to 5 inches, with much of it falling in a 6 to 9 hour period. Several creeks in the Buffalo and Rochester areas recorded their greatest flows and highest gage levels ever in a non-winter/spring season. Cazenovia Creek at Ebenezer was above the 10 foot flood stage cresting at 14.85 feet. Buffalo Creek at Gardenville was above the 7 foot flood stage cresting at 8.71 feet. Cayuga Creek at Lancaster was above the 8 foot flood stage cresting at 9.59 feet. Allegheny River at Salamanca was above the 12 foot flood stage cresting at 12.33 feet. Ellicott Creek at Williamsville was above the 8 foot flood stage cresting at 9.87 feet. Tonawanda Creek at Batavia was above the 9 foot flood stage cresting at 10.12 feet. In Cowlesville, Wyoming County, a three-year-old boy drowned when he was swept away by flood waters while playing near a stream.
In 2007, storms downed trees and power lines and in Sanborn, and several homes sustained minor damage to roofs and siding. Also in Mendon, a tree fell on a home, and in Orchard Park a 15 to 20 foot section of the Buffalo Bills Field house was torn off by the thunderstorm winds.
In 1979, the remnants of Tropical Storm Frederic brought record amounts of rainfall to Western New York and the Buffalo International Airport received 4.94 inches in a 24 hour period. The max was 7.10 inches at Holley. Frederic's rains caused flooding over much of western New York and the Buffalo metropolitan area with most streams above their flood stages, basement floodings, power outages, many roads and schools and offices closed. And even many property owners who lived near streams were evacuated.
In 1966, heavy rainfall totaled 6" reported from the Town of Tonawanda in a 36 hour period and storm sewers and drains could not handle the runoff which forced the closure of over 30 streets and serious basement flooding in thousands of homes.
In 1954, strong winds damaged small boats, toppled trees and power lines in Buffalo.
In 1983, hail as large as marbles hit east of Lake Erie. Waterspouts were also reported over the lake near Buffalo, Dunkirk, and Angola.
In 1962, strong easterly winds lowered Lake Erie waters by several feet.
In 1986, a waterspout moved off Lake Ontario into northwest Orleans county near Lyndonville. The tornado crossed West Lake road and moved into the village of Shadigee then back to Lake Ontario. Most of the damage was to one house on West Lake Road with minor damages to many other residences in Shadigee.
In 1959, the remnants of Hurricane Gracie hit Buffalo producing the heaviest rainfall since October 1955. Also at the Buffalo Airport rainfall of 2.68 inches was recorded in just 24 hours.
During the month of August in Western New York weather history, several tornadoes hit WNY including Lockport, Amherst, Clarence and Fredonia.
In 1970, a violent storm hit Dunkirk causing downed trees and power lines and also some property damage.
In 1989, a windstorm caused damage in Buffalo and also in Eden. In addition, the Annual Corn Festival was interrupted by estimated winds of about 50 mph, and several tents collapsed.
In 2003, storms produced downburst winds of about 60 mph which downed trees and power lines in West Falls. The storms even produced several inches of rain over parts of the Southern Tier. And also in Allegany county flash flooding and road closures were reported. State Routes 417 and 19 were closed.
In 1926, storms brought strong winds and flooding rain. Streets were flooded in the Hertel area, and one frame house under construction was blown down and many places struck by lightning, including a barn at Kusteran farm, near Angola. And a barn in Wilcox farm on Hemlock Rd. in Eden and a Jefferson Ave. trolley car. In addition, there were some telephone poles blown down.
In 1926, storms downed trees and power lines that resulted in scattered power outages. Also three-quarter inch hail fell in Lancaster.
In 1932, storms and heavy rain caused many streets to flood across the Niagara Frontier, with the water being half a foot or more deep. Also a seaplane was overturned and two small fires happened from lightning.
In 1900, the streets quickly flooded from downpours in many parts of the city including in the northwest side of Buffalo street cars had to stop operations.
In 1970, a tornado touched down in Eden and a home was completely destroyed along the path of the tornado, which was a 200 yard path.
In 1999, severe storms downed trees and power lines in places indlucing North Tonawanda and Lewiston. Also winds overturned a travel trailer in the KOA Campground on Grand Island. Also, torrential rains produced flash flooding in Tonawanda and north Buffalo.
In 1994, a tornado touched down in Lockport and damage was reported on one property. That is where three large trees were downed and windows were also blown out of a garage there.
In 1994, thunderstorms moved in and a man was injured in Lockport when he was pinned in his automobile by a falling tree. Also the storms produced three separate tornadoes!
A weak tornado touched down in Lockport damaging some trees. A house also had minor roof damage there.
A fast moving weak tornado produced some damage in Fredonia at the fair grounds were two were injured by flying debris at the Farmer's Fair. Also a house had significant damage to its roof and had several windows broken.
Finally, a third weak tornado made a brief touchdown in the northwest corner of the town of Amherst. Damage was mostly confined to trees and shrubs, but two windows were blown out of a house there.
In 1993, in the early morning hours, thunderstorms in Erie county produced a small tornado in Clarence. Also, downburst winds with an embedded tornado brought down numerous trees. Also falling trees caused some structural damage to some homes there.
The month of July in Western New York weather history, lightning went through a house and several tornadoes touched down and caused damage.
In 1953, severe storms hit Grand Island, the Tonawandas, and north Buffalo and brought destructive winds. At the airport 59mph winds were recorded, heavy rain of 2.27 inches in a 3-hour period, and hail caused damage estimated around two million dollars.
In 1963, severe storms moved through western New York and a tornado touched down near the city of Jamestown. Also a fatal airplane crash occurred at Rochester.
In 1999, severe storms produced heavy downpours, up to three inches in some spots, strong winds and large hail, and localized poor drainage flooding in some locations. Funnel clouds were sighted in Freedom and a swath of hail between one-half and one-mile wide hit Wyoming county, and windows were broken and siding and shutters were damaged. Also, hundreds of acres of corn were damaged. In Yorkshire, a large equipment shed was blown apart and in Delevan a large barn and two concrete silos were destroyed. And at the Freedom Speedway several large trees were moved, also light poles were bent over and a cinder block building was moved off its foundation because of damaging straight line winds.
In 1983, on Independence Day, a cold front with storms and damaging winds moved through the Buffalo area which brought hail to Orchard Park, and also winds gusting to 50 mph, and an unconfirmed report of a funnel cloud in Lancaster.
In 1994, some storms moved through and an Amherst resident reportedly encountered a ball of lightning about the size of a beach ball rolling down the upstairs hall which went through a bedroom door and window and damaged some electrical appliances, apparently.
In 1965, severe storms came through and one produced hail and small tornadoes including funnels at Curriers in Wyoming county, and also in Williamsville and Akron in Erie county.
In 1998, storms brought three to five inches of heavy rain across parts of Erie, Genesee, and Wyoming counties, and also widespread devastating flash flooding was reported. Many small streams and creeks became raging torrents and the upper reaches of the Tonawanda Creek rose drastically, faster than at any time in at least 30 years according to locals there. In addition, flooded out much of the Village of Attica. Two deaths resulted from the flooding including a 28 year-old female and a 17 year-old male drowned while attempting to rescue animals from the basement of an animal clinic, was reported. The Tonawanda creek also rose well above flood stage downstream to Batavia. And Cayuga creek at Lancaster rose above flood stage for several hours, and a State of Emergency was declared for all of Wyoming County. Reportedly nearly 400 buildings were damaged in the county and damage to crop land was severe there.
In 1999, severe storms crossed Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties and produced damaging winds, downpours, and hail, and also downed some trees and power lines. Falling trees resulted in structure damage in Cassadaga and Ellicottville and a funnel was also sighted in Cassadaga. In Sinclairville, the strong winds leveled a large barn, was reported.
In 2003, several funnel clouds developed from storms along the convergence of Lakes Erie and Ontario lake breeze boundaries.
In 2004, storms produced hail over Niagara and Orleans counties, and three-quarter inch hail was reported in Sanborn and one-inch hail in Ridgeway.
In 2003, thunderstorms with strong winds downed trees in Cuba, and in Portville there was straight-line wind damage when a barn was blown down. Heavy rains of more than 2 inches caused urban and small stream flooding in Cuba and in Olean, and in Fredonia lightning struck a house.
In 1955, a thundersquall caused local flash flooding and knocked down trees and power lines.
In 1987, a tornado hit the town of Cheektowaga which flipped cars on the New York State Thruway and caused about 5 million dollars in damage to homes and businesses including the George Urban/Miami parkway area of the town, was reported. Major damage was sustained by three homes while over 100 homes reported minor damage.
In 1996, during the evening hours a small tornado touched down in Canaseraga in Allegany county, and uprooted trees and tore parts of a metal roof off a barn and shingles off a mobile home there.
During the month of June in Western New York weather history, gusty winds on Lake Erie capsized boats, remnants of a hurricane brought devastating floods, and a tornado hit several local towns.
In 1977, severe storms moved in and brought half inch size hail, strong gusty winds and heavy rain for Niagara Falls. Also several large trees were uprooted and fell across parked cars, and also power lines were downed and roofs were damaged by falling tree limbs.
In 1986, several storms dropped 1.15 inches of rain at the Buffalo Airport, set a record for that date. The thunderstorms knocked out power to between 5,000 and 6,000 customers in Buffalo, and power outages were reported in the towns of Amherst, Tonawanda, Elma, West Seneca, Hamburg, Orchard park, Alden and Marilla.
In 1998, severe storms moved through and a tornado hit Wyoming county with substantial damage to numerous structures and completely destroyed several others. The initial touchdown of the tornado was in Orangeville and went near the Village of Warsaw where it damaged two houses, then the tornado followed near the border of the Towns of Perry and Castile damaging several sheds and docks as it crossed Silver Lake. The final traces of the tornado were found in Castile.
In 1980, storms caused downed trees and power lines and heavy rain caused street flooding for some spots. Also a wind gust of 79 mph was recorded at the Buffalo Airport and golf ball sized hail was reported as well.
In 2007, storms downed trees and power lines including in Concord, Hamburg, Gerry, Westfield, Niagara Falls, LeRoy, Varysburg, Otto, Orchard Park, Bemus Point, Byron, Castile.
In 1991, storms over southern Erie and Chautauqua counties produced damaging wind gusts over 45 mph which downed trees and power lines in Evans and Angola, and also Jamestown. Large hail was reported in the town of Harmony and in Jamestown.
In 1986, severe thunderstorms brought a peak gust of 69 mph at the Buffalo Airport, and cut electricity to nearly 18,000 homes around Buffalo, and a house was struck by lightning and set fire on Dakota street there.
In 2008, Western New York experienced a rare widespread damaging hail event across southern Niagara, southern Orleans counties especially, larger hail of up to two inches in diameter. A storm formed over Grand Island and moved into the northern and eastern suburbs of Buffalo. The golf-ball sized hail damaged thousands of automobiles as well as windows, roofs and awnings on many homes. At the Amherst Middle School, the hail made 1200 to 1500 holes in the skylight roof, and property damage was significant, but the damage to area crops was devastating.
In 1970, storms brought power outages to Niagara and also drenching rains flooded streets in Lockport. Lightning also struck four homes and a church in Amherst, but damage was light there.
In 1990, severe thunderstorms downed trees and power lines causing numerous power outages, and there were several reports of homes damaged by falling trees were received and state of emergency declared in Brownville as downed trees and power lines blocked the main streets. Two people were trapped in their cars when live wires fell onto the street. Specific reports of wind damage were received from Falconer, Elma, Lancaster, Wilson, Batavia, and Murray.
In 1908, heavy rain and a windstorm hit in Buffalo with winds of 56 mph and extreme gusts of 69 mph caused damage. Many valuable trees were blown down, streetcar traffic stopped by broken wires, or obstructing trunks of trees. A church being built on East Ferry street was blown down, and two boys who had sought refuge there were seriously injured by falling timbers.
In 1969, thunderstorms spawned tornadoes which ripped through sections of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties and the hardest hit were a factory in Jamestown and the towns of Gerry and Bemus Point.
In 1972, remnants of hurricane Agnes dropper nearly 4 inches of rain in a couple days with up to a foot or more over parts of the southern tier. Devastating flooding reached record levels in Allegany, and Cattaraugus counties and the dike system was exceeded in Salamanca. Property damage was in the hundreds of millions of dollars with 24 deaths in New York state.
In 1985, strong winds on Lake Erie gusting to 41 mph capsized several small vessels which caused four people to go into the water. One person drowned two teenage girls were stranded adrift a rubber raft for 16 hours about four miles west of Silver Creek before being rescued by the Coast Guard.
In 1989, several streams already swollen, flooded from heavy rains. Lockport, Albion and Arcade reported rainfall of 3.3, 3.0, and 2.9". States of emergency were declared for the village of Arcade and Albion. In Arcade, trees were uprooted and moved 500 feet by the flood waters and waters ate away the roadbed of the Conrail line in the town of Dale. And in Genesee county, three bridges washed away. The Allegheny River crested about 3.5 feet above flood stage at Olean and Salamanca, and a bridge in Franklinville was washed out. In Portville, 50 persons had to be evacuated from their homes, and flooding closed portions of State Routes 219, 242, 16, and 98.
In 1994, severe storms brought damaging winds in Hamburg and East Aurora, and produced a weak tornado in Angola which mainly uprooted trees, one tree fell onto a house.
In 1997, strong storms, which developed along lake breezes from Lakes Erie and Ontario winds, downed trees and power lines in Niagara, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, and created scattered power outages.
*The National Weather Service Buffalo Office keeps a log of local severe weather reports for Western New York.