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Goodbye warmth, hello wintry weather

Unseasonable warmth is giving way to something that looks more like winter, for some parts of the region anyway.

The first lake-effect snow advisory of the season was issued Friday by the National Weather Service in Buffalo, which is calling for up to 9 inches of snow in “ski country” this weekend.

The advisory took effect at 6 p.m. Friday and continues through midnight tonight. It applies to southern Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

“It does not include Buffalo,” said meteorologist Jon Hitchcock, who defines ski country as the Boston Hills and points south, where the ski areas are located.

Fellow forecaster Sean Reynolds said the metro area could see a dusting of snow, with rain showers turning into snow showers early today.

The heavier incoming snow could briefly affect the Southtowns before moving farther south, Hitchcock said. Between 2 and 4 inches of snow was forecast for Friday, with another 3 to 5 inches today.

“It’s going to be much colder than it has been – and that’s for everywhere,” Hitchcock said.

Just two days after temperatures closed in on 60 in the metro area, the highs today are not expected to escape the 30s, while temperatures in ski country will remain below freezing, Hitchcock said.

“It’s going to be a pretty abrupt change from the mild weather we’ve had,” Hitchcock said of the warm Thanksgiving day weather.

Forecasters said they’re also keeping an eye on a possible storm system developing that has the potential to bring more snow later next week.

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