Exact weekend snow forecasts might not be known for a couple of more days, but it appears that prognostications that a sharp Arctic cold snap descending on the Buffalo Niagara region are crystallizing.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service expect "accumulating snowfall" for "a good portion of the forecast area" late Saturday into Sunday, but report that metro Buffalo "should be largely spared any significant snows."
In the meantime, there will be a little bit of everything.
Here's what the next five days have in store, according to the National Weather Service:
Today: ☀️ Gorgeous. Mostly sunny conditions with a light southwest wind. High of 63 degrees. The normal high temperature for the date is 48 degrees.
Tonight: ⭐️ Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers after 1 a.m. Low of about 54 degrees. South winds increase and could begin gusting over 30 mph.
Thursday: ?☔️⚡️ The passage of a strong cold front will bring "the potential for strong and possibly damaging winds." A wind advisory is in place for the southern half of Western New York from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with southerly wind gusts up to 50 mph possible. The potential for rain increases by dawn with showers expected after 10 a.m. Thunderstorms are also possible. Southwest winds will gust over 30 mph, and approaching 50 mph at times, between about noon and 5 p.m. More than one-quarter inch of rain is forecast through dinnertime. Temperatures will remain in the 60s for much of the day before retreating as night falls.
Thursday night: ⚡️ Temperatures begin dropping through the 50s overnight. About four-tenths of an inch of rain is forecast with showers and thunderstorms, mainly before midnight. The overnight low will bottom out at 49 degrees.
Friday: ☔️ A 40 percent chance of showers is forecast for the first day of April and temperatures return to normal for the date with a high of 49 degrees expected.
Friday night: ☔️❄️ Rain showers are expected before 4 a.m., according to the weather service forecast, then snow showers will begin to mix in early Saturday. The overnight low will be in the mid-30s.
Saturday: ☔️❄️ A 60 percent chance for rain and snow showers is forecast. Daytime highs will be below normal in the lower 40s. Another cold front - the one that will bring frigid polar air behind it - will cross the region this day. It could also bring "very strong winds." Temperatures will quickly drop from a high of 44 degrees at about 5 p.m. to 39 degrees by 7 p.m. and then 33 degrees by 10 p.m.
Saturday night: ❄️ Snow showers are forecast after 10 p.m. Northwest winds pick up as the mercury continues its retreat overnight, bottoming out at about 23 degrees before 5 and 7 a.m. Sunday with a 40 percent chance of snow. Wind chills will make it feel like it's in the teens. In the words of weather service forecasters:
THESE COLD TEMPERATURES WILL INDUCE A ROBUST LAKE RESPONSE SATURDAY NIGHT
A west-northwest flow of air over the open lakes Erie and Ontario, which were at 40 degrees Tuesday, is expected to churn up the lake-effect machine. According to weather service forecasters:
THIS WILL LIKELY PRODUCE AT LEAST SEVERAL INCHES OF ACCUMULATION SOUTHEAST OF THE LAKES...THOUGH THE BUFFALO METRO SHOULD BE LARGELY SPARED ANY SIGNIFICANT SNOWS.
Sunday: ❄️ A 50 percent chance of snow showers is forecast. High pressure moving into the region is expected to cut off any further threat for lake-effect snow as the day wears on.
Beyond: ❄️ 'A new threat'
When the "coldest portion of the Arctic air" starts leaving the region later on Sunday, forecast models show that another Canadian Clipper system may approach the region.
THAT COULD BRING A LATE SEASON SNOWSTORM TO AREAS SOUTH OF LAKE ONTARIO. THIS WILL NEED TO BE MONITORED CLOSELY AS THE FEATURES INVOLVED WILL HAVE TO LINE UP JUST RIGHT AND WE ARE STILL QUITE A WAYS OUT TO PREDICT SNOWFALL TOTALS WITH ANY CERTAINTY.