Buffalo sees coldest ever end to the year

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –The past week in Western New York, from Christmas day through New Year’s is the coldest end to the year we’ve ever seen. If that doesn’t impress you, think about it this way. The records date back 146 years. To put that into perspective, Ulysses S. Grant was president and the first Major League Baseball game was played that year.

Here’s a breakdown for you…

Christmas day this year climbed to a whopping 33 degrees and at the airport picked up a little over 2″ of snow. That is right around average for the day. In years past, it was a bit warmer. 2016, saw temperatures in the upper 30s, 2015, was well above average like the rest of that winter, and saw temperatures in the upper 40s. 2014 saw highs in the low 40s.

The following day this year, December 26, Western New York only saw high temperatures in the teens.

That was the start of the arctic blast! What followed has been days of lake effect snow and brutally cold temperatures.

The 27th – 14 degrees.

The 28th- 13 degrees.

The 29th – 16 degrees.

The 30th – 17 degrees.

That of course leads to New Year’s Eve, by far the coldest day of the week, with high temperatures not leaving the single digits! If you compare that number to the last 3 years, you will be shocked. Never remember wearing layers upon layers out to the ball drop? That’s probably because you haven’t…at least in quite some time. Last year the high temperature was 40 degrees. In 2015- the high reached the mid-30s. The year prior remained in the low 20s.

Aside from making celebrating the holiday and watching the ball drop a bit harder, this past week’s cold has had an impact on the surrounding great lakes. The concentration of ice on Lake Erie has climbed to 29.8%. Although most of that is on the western edge of the lake, where it is most shallow, the numbers have moved,

Lake Ontario’s ice coverage has climbed to a little over 9%.

Both of these lakes will continue to see ice concentration climb as temperatures are forecasted to stay this cold through at the least he first few weeks of January.

Stick with your 4Warn Weather team for updates.

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