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LAKE-EFFECT SNOW PICKS ITS SPOTS

Depending on where you were Thursday, there was either no snow or too much.

Narrow bands of lake-effect squalls returned to the traditional snow belt areas in southern Erie County and northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, producing accumulations of up to 1 1/2 inches an hour and making Thruway driving treacherous. Elsewhere, it was just plain cold.

Ski areas reveled in a foot or more of new snow, and Buffalo's Southtowns shoveled out from eight to 18 inches left from Wednesday's storm and Thursday's remnants.

Officially, 3.4 inches fell at the National Weather Service office at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga. Wellsville, which had been green until Thursday, saw its first snow.

Meanwhile, the city and its northern suburbs had only a thin covering of white. It felt very much like winter, though. High for the day was 21, but wind chills were below zero most of the day.

Today will continue cold, with a high near 20 and lake-effect squalls in ski country. Christmas Day will be a bit warmer, with periods of sunshine and a chance of snow showers. Sunday will see temperatures rise above freezing before a new cold front delivers more snow early next week.

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