BUFFALO, N.Y. — Even though May has been off to a cooler start with below average temperatures for the first full week, a major pattern flip will send temperatures in the other direction next week.
For about a week climate projections had been hinting at this pattern change which would bring above average temperatures to much of the eastern half of the United States, primarily the Great Lakes and Northeast. For mid-May in Buffalo, this would mean high temperatures in the 70s or even low 80s.
Western New York could even experience its first 80-degree day of the year this week, which is right on track with the climatological average of May 14. Last year it reached 84 degrees on April 4, which was over a month early for it to be that warm. The earliest 80-degree day on record for the city was March 20, 2012, and latest was July 3, 1926.
Not only will it be pretty warm next week, the forecast will also be dry too. This is because of the stagnate weather system that will be over the region, locked in place because of an atmospheric blocking pattern known as a "Rex Block."
In this type of blocking pattern, a strong high pressure system sits at a higher latitude with a strong low directly to it's south. Both systems uniquely work together with an easterly wind between the two that help keeps these systems in place. It typically takes a strong trough from the west to kick this pattern out, and that isn't expected to happen until next weekend. Rex Blocks are most common over the western half of the United States and eastern Pacific Ocean, but they can happen east of the Rocky Mountains when conditions are just right.
Back to local updates. In addition to warm, sunny and dry weather, lake temperatures will likely warm as well and pollen levels will (unfortunately) be extremely high. Tree pollen could be the highest it has been yet this season with ash, oak and birch making up the top pollen types.
Pollen season transitions to grass pollen in May, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see those pollen counts go up too with this warm and dry stretch. Weed pollen season doesn't arrive until June/July and then Ragweed by late August.
And as far as the "heat," we're not expecting any daily weather records to be broken next week as record highs begin to approach the upper 80s and even low 90s range as the month goes on.