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Winter storm to hit Western New York today

This morning’s commute brings the risk of slipping and sliding.

“Untreated roads, especially the overpasses – they could be slippery in spots,” said David Thomas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cheektowaga. “If they are treated well, they could just be wet.”

The regional weather outlook today is cold and sloppy – a blah beginning to a wintry week of snow and temperatures dipping into the 20s for highs – below normal for this point in December.

Western New York today will be introduced to the extremely cold weather system that inconvenienced the southern Plains states days ago and hounded the Northeast on Sunday. Some parts of Arkansas received more than a foot of sleet and snow starting Thursday. Electricity was out for about 10,000 people in Arkansas on Sunday.

The fringes of the storm will hit the region today with light snow and the potential for freezing rain.

Area highway departments were watching the weather closely late Sunday.

Mike Lytle, an employee of the Amherst Highway Department, said any snowfall would be met by a fleet of salt trucks. And, should the snow turn to freezing drizzle, or rain, by morning, the salt application would improve driving conditions.

There is good news for ski country south of Buffalo: The National Weather Service predicts as much as 6 inches of snow or more from Tuesday evening into Thursday, Thomas said.

A lake-effect snow watch has been issued for Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and southern Erie counties, with the potential for snow reaching into metropolitan Buffalo, depending on the whims of the snow bands.