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Rain, and more melting, on the way

Slow and steady.

It’s been the perfect way to start melting away Western New York’s snow and ice without swelling streams and flooding basements.

But the melt will pick up a little speed Friday and Saturday with even warmer temperatures and some rainfall, according to the National Weather Service, which called for the “potential for some minor flooding this weekend” in its daily weather outlook for the region.

As of late Thursday, there were no watches or warnings for flooding.

Forecasters said they are optimistic creeks and streams will remain within their banks, although “the combination of snowmelt and rainfall ... will likely lead to significant rises on area tributaries.”

“We’re not looking at much,” said Bill Hibbert, meteorologist at the National Weather Service, about the threat of flooding. “Things are still melting off slowly. The amount of rain we’re expecting Saturday will lift northward across Pennsylvania and mainly affect central and eastern New York.”

About one-third of an inch of rain is forecast to fall Saturday.

Forecasts for area creeks and streams showed that none of the usual problem areas around the region – including Ellicott, Cayuga, Buffalo, Cazenovia, Cattaraugus or Tonawanda creeks and the Allegany River – should experience any flooding through Sunday.

The warmer temperatures this week, sunshine and a lack of precipitation have already reduced the snow on the ground by half, according to the weather service.

There also was gradual melting underway on streams, including Cazenovia and Buffalo creeks in West Seneca. A small channel of water was observed on an otherwise ice-covered Cazenovia Creek near Southgate Plaza.

Friday’s high is expected to hit 46 degrees under sunny skies.