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Big chill forecast to follow the snow

The snowblower was serving Chris Phillips well as he cleared his parents' driveway on Lafayette Avenue.

But it had been deep enough in hibernation that it took many vigorous yanks on the starter cord to wake it from its slumber. "I was standing there going, 'C'mon!' " he said.

Frustration followed by combustion was the sequence for many snowblower owners who, like Phillips, hadn't started their machines since the surprise storm on Oct. 12.

There definitely was a need. Lake-effect snow began in the Buffalo area during the morning and, at several points during the morning and afternoon, was falling at a rate of one to two inches an hour.

The general snowfall left from three to six inches over much of Erie and Niagara counties, with Buffalo Niagara International Airport receiving just over five inches. Lancaster reported five inches, with 3.6 inches in Blasdell and two inches in Hamburg.

The snow stopped in the city at about 4:30 p.m., which National Weather Service meteorologist Steve McLaughlin said was a little ahead of what was predicted.

By early evening, strong winds aloft pushed the lake-effect band south out of the metro area, through the Southtowns and quickly back to the Southern Tier by early evening.

There were scattered collisions reported around the region as the result of the snowy weather, area police agencies reported. None proved to be too serious, however.

A car hit a utility pole, shearing it in two, at about 3 p.m. at Route 5 and Bayview Road in Hamburg. One person was taken to the hospital with an injury not considered life-threatening, Hamburg police said.

By this morning, it was forecast to be over southern Erie and northern Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties, where McLaughlin said it was likely to stay for several days.

"Ski country will be enjoying this," he said. "They should be getting three to six inches every 12-hour period."

McLaughlin said Western New York will be experiencing its coldest weather of the season over the next two weeks.

"It will be a real arctic blast on Thursday into Friday," he said. "We'll be flirting with zero at night. It's real winter."

The relatively long period of very cold weather should lead to the beginning of ice formation on Lake Erie. The lake temperature at Buffalo, which had been 42 degrees last week, was down to 37 Tuesday.

News Staff Reporter T.J. Pignataro contributed to this report.


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