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WNY braces for snow, but worst is due to the east

More winter weather is on the way.

The good news is that Western New York won't get as much of it as points east.

A winter storm warning was posted for much of central New York and Pennsylvania on Friday as forecasters eyed a developing storm that promises to drop more than a foot on some areas Sunday into Monday.

There won't be that much snow here, meteorologists said, but there is a good possibility of Buffalo Niagara getting at least a few inches from the storm.

"We will probably see some accumulating snow," said National Weather Service meteorologist Jon Hitchcock. "The best chance is Sunday night and Monday morning. It's a little early for [estimates of snowfall totals] but the first guess would be a couple of inches."

AccuWeather meteorologist Kerry Schwindenhammer pegged the accumulation at from 3 to 6 inches. "The further east, the better chance of it being 6," he said. "West toward Buffalo, it will probably be closer to 3."

A low-pressure system will move from the South up the Atlantic Seaboard today, carrying high winds and heavy rain into the Carolinas. It will head slowly north and temperatures should be cold enough to turn the rain into snow throughout much of the interior Northeast.

"It will move up the New Jersey shore toward New York City and stall," Hitchcock said. "When that happens, there's a prolonged easterly flow off the ocean and that allows the snow to move further west than we typically see with a faster-moving coastal low."

The heaviest snows are forecast for areas east of Rochester, including the central and eastern Southern Tier, northeastern Pennsylvania, the Hudson Valley and parts of the Adirondack and Berkshire mountains, Schwindenhammer said.

Binghamton and Elmira could see at least a foot, he said.

Temperatures will continue to be below normal, forecasters said, with no real warming period in sight until at least late next week.

"It does look like there will be a slow moderating trend the second half of next week," Hitchcock said. "I don't know if we'll make it to normal, which is in the mid-50s, but we may be touching 50 by the end of the week."

So far, April has been five degrees colder than normal, he said, with the period from April 5 through April 10 averaging 15 degrees below average.

Sunday and Monday will feature high temperatures within a few degrees of 40 and low temperatures at or just below freezing.

"The odds favor it turning a little bit closer to normal by the end of the month," Schwindenhammer added.

e-mail: jbonfatti@buffnews.com

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