Western New York’s white Christmas got a refresher coat Thursday.
Officially, 3.3 inches fell at the National Weather Service office in Cheektowaga, and an inch or two is forecast to arrive before noon today from a band of lake-effect squalls that is expected to drift north over the Buffalo metro area and then head south again.
Another 5 to 8 inches were promised for southern Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, but meteorologists withdrew that forecast Thursday evening as lake-effect snow there diminished.
The general snowfall that disrupted the Thursday morning drive in the Buffalo metro area also made things more complicated in Clarence, where highway crews continued moving snow and ice to alleviate the lingering effects of last weekend’s soaking.
The northern part of the town remained under a travel advisory Thursday evening, according to David A. Baumler, deputy coordinator of emergency services. While roads gradually were being opened, some still were closed or restricted, including Wolcott, Kelkenburg, Goodrich and West Phalenger, where there was ice on the south end by the bridge. Drivers who ignore barricades without good reason can expect to be ticketed.
Baumler said, “We still have high water in some locations and will have to let the water come down and then deice after that before the roads can be opened up to traffic.”
Meanwhile, the snowstorm that made for slick roads and fender-bending accidents in the Northtowns and city Thursday morning moved out of the area by noon, making way for more localized lake-effect snows, mostly south of Buffalo.
The snow is expected to ease off later today. Partly sunny skies may bring temperatures as high as 40 degrees Saturday and Sunday.
“That comes with a ‘but,’ ” said David Zaff of the National Weather Service. “But after the weekend, it will be really cold again. The lows will be single digits, maybe near zero, with highs only 10 to 15.
That will last for a few days at least.”