Arctic blast again coming our way - The Buffalo News

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Arctic blast again coming our way

Everybody’s talking about the weather this winter.

And there will be plenty more conversation to be had around Buffalo Niagara through the weekend.

Bone-chilling temperatures – and, yes, a new round of snow and gusty winds – are in the forecast.

You know the drill.

Eggs. Milk. Bread. (Beer.) Refuel the cars and snowblower. Salt the walk. Don’t take off the parka. And keep your hat and mittens on at all times.

“The wind is going to be the big problem,” said Jon Hitchcock, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “It’s going to be bad enough to produce pretty difficult travel at times.”

A winter weather advisory for the entire region goes into effect at 2 p.m. today and will continue through 7 p.m. Saturday, according to the Weather Service.

The advisory calls for snow and blowing snow, with up to four inches of accumulation – up to six inches across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties – with shifting winds that will become southwest today, increasing to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph possible.

The new round of wintry weather is part of a wide “fairly strong storm system” that will affect not only Buffalo Niagara but most of the Great Lakes and Northeast, Hitchcock said.

The storm will start with increasing winds this afternoon before snow begins mixing in tonight.

That will make travel treacherous.

Visibility will be cut to as low as a quarter of a mile late Friday through Saturday night, according to forecasts.

Meanwhile, the region remained under a wind chill advisory through noon today because of the ongoing frigid temperatures that could result in wind chill values as low as minus-20 this morning.

Temperatures are expected to moderate – relatively speaking – and remain pretty steady today, tonight and Saturday, ranging only between 16 and 24 degrees throughout.

The increased winds, however, will still keep wind chill values below zero through Saturday.

Then, the mercury drops off again Saturday night, with an overnight low of 4 degrees forecast with breezy west winds. That will again push wind chill values into the minus teens.

The first part of next week looks just as frosty.

“It looks like a pretty strong push of arctic air next week, starting about Monday night,” Hitchcock explained. “The cold will be just as cold as this week, with more wind.”

The wintry weather is again impacting much of the eastern half of the United States.

Advisories for wind chills below freezing are forecast in places as far south as Sarasota, Fla., and south Texas along the border with Mexico.

In Texas, a “wintry mix” of sleet and freezing rain was expected, and a winter weather advisory was posted for today.

Hard freeze warnings were in place from southern Louisiana to the Florida panhandle.

On the westernmost edge of the wintry weather, blizzard warnings were in place in areas of South Dakota and Minnesota, the Weather Service reported.

“The cold is covering a large chunk of the eastern half to two-thirds of the nation,” Hitchcock said.


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