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Rain, rain won't go away until after mid-day Saturday

The month of March will go out like a lion -- a very wet lion.

A complex storm system is forecast to bring up to 2 inches of rainfall to parts of the Buffalo Niagara region.

The precipitation was forecast to move into the Buffalo Niagara region by mid-afternoon today.

It came on schedule. But when it did arrive, it came in the form of snow.

"Precipitation falls through the atmospheric column. It melts and cools the column. And, it gets down cold enough to support snow," said Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

That snow was expected to quickly turn back to rain this afternoon in metro Buffalo, Reynolds said.

Up to two inches of rain is expected in the Northeast, including in the Buffalo Niagara region, between this afternoon and the weekend, forecast models show. (

And, the rain will stick around.

The National Weather Service indicated in its Hazardous Weather Outlook that the amount of rainfall could result in swollen creeks and streams throughout the region.

Forecasters at the weather service said there's a "low chance for some minor flooding mainly Friday into Saturday."

As of noon, however, the weather service had not yet issued any official warnings, watches or advisories.

Forecasts show that nearly an inch and a half of rain is expected between today and early Saturday at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. (National Weather Service)

The weather service pointed out the leading band of rain was tracking into the Southern Tier late this morning.

"There are some embedded heavier cells which will bring occasional brief moderate to heavy downpours," forecasters said in today's weather discussion.

The way the weather will set up will result in a strengthening storm system moving slowly east northeast through the Buffalo Niagara region, forecasters said.

"The strength of forcing and quality moisture coming into play support widespread precipitation overspreading all of western, and eventually central New York, through this afternoon and tonight with several embedded periods of moderate precipitation," weather service forecasters said.

Weather service forecasters reported some areas could see "a slushy wet snow" in areas where temperatures are near freezing.

Travelers were cautioned that elevated surfaces and bridges freeze before roadways.

While the snow was short-lived in Buffalo this afternoon, it begged a question: how late is the latest snowfall in Buffalo?

Here's the Top 10 list of biggest one-day snows after April 1 since weather records started being kept at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport during World War II:

Nearly eight inches of snow fell on May 7, 1989. It's the most snow to fall at the Buffalo airport after April 1. (xmACIS2)

Before Buffalo's official weather records started being kept at the Buffalo airport in 1943, they were kept at the Buffalo harbor.

Here are those statistics:

The most-ever snow on record after April 1 came on April 11, 1894. Nearly nine inches fell. (xmACIS2)


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