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What to expect the next 36 hours: light snow in Buffalo, heavier in Southern Erie, Cattaraugus, Wyoming

Light snow was falling in Buffalo this morning as the far southern end of Erie County as well as Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties were getting the brunt of a winter storm.

Overnight the Buffalo metro area got a coating of a couple of inches of snow and can expect another two to five inches, said National Weather Service meteorologist David Church.

"Closer to the lower end in the city and 5 as you get away into the hills," Church said.

The Southern Tier could get six to 12 inches of snow by Thursday morning.

Here's what the weather service says to expect over the next 36 hours:

Today

A winter storm warning is posted for portions of Western New York starting at 6 p.m. Those locations could see up to 16 inches of snow. (NWS Buffalo)

winter weather advisory remains in effect for the Buffalo metro area. At the same time, a winter storm warning is posted for the far Southtowns and the Southern Tier.

The heavy snow fall prompted Springville-Griffith and Jamestown school districts to declare snow days for today.

Both the advisory and the warning run through 2 a.m. Thursday.

In the Buffalo metro area, snow is expected to continue during the day and temperatures will stay below normal — in the low 30s.

Roads could be a little slippery for the morning commute, Church said. Because the sun's higher in the sky by mid-March, roads should stay in better conditions from the late morning through late afternoon, forecasters said.

Snow slows morning commute

Buffalo needs just 3.9 inches more to push the city over 100 inches total for this winter season. It would be the first time Buffalo made that mark in three years.

Wednesday night

Snow showers are forecast to continue into Wednesday night across the region. They'll fall mainly before 2 a.m., forecasters said.

Most of the snow should be over by nighttime for metro Buffalo, the weather service said.

In southern Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, the weather service said to expect even more snow than the Niagara Frontier.

The heaviest accumulations are expected across the Chautauqua Ridge and higher elevations of southern Erie and Wyoming counties, the weather service said. (NWS Buffalo)

Thursday

More snow is likely, especially in the afternoon hours, but not much.

Up to one-half inch is possible in metro Buffalo, the weather service said.

Otherwise, it'll be cloudy with highs in the mid 30s.

 

Thursday night

There's a 50/50 chance for snow showers, the weather service said.

Overnight lows will dip into the low 20s with westerly winds making it feel like it's in the teens.

The snow chances also extend into the day on Friday, the weather service said.

Buffalo is no stranger to big snowstorms in March

Looking toward the weekend and beyond

There is good news for anyone heading to the weekend St. Patrick's Day parades.

The luck o' the Irish is with Buffalo.

"Warm (air) will spread into our region and bring temperatures back close to average," the weather service said.

It'll be mostly sunny and near 35 degrees for the Old Neighborhood Parade on Saturday.

The forecast calls for slightly warmer temperatures, sunshine and highs around 40 on Sunday.

Then, "a back-door cold front" is expected to cross the region again late Sunday, bringing chilly temperatures back by early next week.

"Looking a little farther ahead, there is no sign of any sustained early spring weather over the next few weeks, with cold winning out most of the time," the weather service said.

Don Paul: Don't look to the forecast for signs of spring

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