The lake-effect snow heading for parts of Western New York this weekend may creep as far north as Buffalo starting late Friday afternoon.
While the Southern Tier will see the most accumulation, the band of lake effect could swing to the north mainly in the late afternoon and early evening, according to the National Weather Service in Cheektowaga.
That could mean a few inches of snow in Buffalo and an inch or two at the airport, said meteorologist Jim Mitchell.
The onset of this weekend's snow may cause problems with Friday's afternoon commute in the metro area, depending on exactly when the flakes start to fall, Mitchell said.
Forecasters at the Weather Service have upgraded what had been a lake-effect snow watch to a warning. It's in place from 4 p.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Saturday for southern Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties.
Updated predictions for accumulation show between 8 and 15 inches in the areas that will be heaviest hit, which will be in the highest terrain. Wyoming County is likely to see between 6 and 9 inches, Mitchell said.
A lake-effect snow advisory is in place from 1 to 10 p.m. Friday for northern Erie and Genesee counties.
The heaviest snows will fall between Friday night and early Saturday evening.
Some areas may also see some freezing drizzle starting Thursday night through Friday morning. The Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 7 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday for southern Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming and Allegany counties.
Updates to the forecast will be ongoing, the weather service said.