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Freezing rain expected later today, with gusty winds early Tuesday

Winter won't let Western New York escape 2015 that easily.

Freezing rain is expected across the region beginning late this afternoon as part of a winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Cheektowaga. The precipitation will start off as snow or sleet, and then as it falls as rain, it will reach a surface with below-freezing temperatures, said meteorologist David Thomas.

"This rain will be falling on sub-freezing temperatures and produce a decent glaze of ice," Thomas said.

Untreated roads will see icy conditions, and bridges, overpasses and elevated ramps may also be slippery.

The freezing rain will continue into the overnight hours Tuesday, with difficult travel conditions predicted to hit Buffalo between 5 and 7 p.m., he said.

At about 3:15 p.m., the wintry mixed precipitation was pushing through the Southern Tier northeastward toward the Buffalo metro area. (National Weather Service radar image)

At about 3:15 p.m., the wintry mixed precipitation was pushing through the Southern Tier northeastward toward the Buffalo metro area. (National Weather Service radar image)

Up to one-third inch of ice could coat surfaces, trees and electric lines, according to the weather advisory.

Gusty winds will get added to the mix, with a high-wind advisory -- predicting gusts up to 50 mph -- expected between 1 and 10 a.m. Tuesday. Winds will be stronger along the Lake Erie shore, with gusts of up to 60 mph predicted for southern Erie and Chautauqua counties, Thomas said.

Both the winter weather advisory and the wind advisory/warning are scheduled to expire at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The wintry blast is part of a major winter storm that's pushing from the Midwest northward.

High temperatures today will reach just above freezing, with temperatures into the 40s on Tuesday and Wednesday and then into the upper 30s on Thursday.

"We'll have continued above-normal temperatures through the middle of the week," Thomas said.

A cold front is expected to come through the area Wednesday night, erasing the autumn-like warm spell Western New York has been experiencing, he said. Some parts of the region will see some lake-effect snow towards the end of the week, as well as a couple clippers, or compact storms, that will bring a general snowfall to the area.

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