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General snowfall carpets area in white

The first significant widespread snowfall of the season late Thursday and Friday morning gave all of Western New York a taste of what the lake-effect areas have been experiencing for several few weeks.

In all, the National Weather Service reported 2.8 inches of snow by late Friday at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga. Spotters north of the city reported higher totals: 6.1 inches in Amherst and 4.8 inches in North Tonawanda.

Until now, the communities in the path of lake-effect squalls off Lakes Erie and Ontario had received the most snow. Who has had the most?

"It all depends on which way the wind blows," says a sheriff's dispatcher in Chautauqua County, where the snow hereabouts often is the deepest.

Storms so far this year have spread their bounty around. November's squalls were heaviest in Hamburg, where a National Weather Service snow spotter reported 35 inches for the month.

So far this month, however, Hamburg has escaped the worst of it.

The storm that settled in along Cattaraugus Creek earlier this week added another 29 inches to the total in Perrysburg in northern Cattaraugus County, where 21 inches fell in November.

Unofficially, Perrysburg may be Western New York's snowiest place so far.

Close behind is Sinclairville in Chautauqua County, where a snow spotter reported 34 inches in November and another foot earlier this week.

The current storm, however, is unlikely to have much effect on the race for the Golden Snowball -- in which Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and Binghamton compete for the most annual snowfall.

As of Friday night, Binghamton was in third place with 21.6 inches -- the normal there for this time of the year is 12.9. Buffalo held second place with 25 inches, compared with a normal snowfall of 17.7. Syracuse held a substantial lead with 41.5 inches, well above its normal depth of 17.3 inches by this point in the year.

This weekend isn't expected to markedly add to the local snow totals.

Today's forecast calls for mostly cloudy and breezy conditions with temperatures in the low-to-mid 30s. A cold front is expected to pass through the area Sunday afternoon, which could add another inch or so, according to National Weather Service meteorologists.

e-mail: danderson@buffnews.com and tpignataro@buffnews.com

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