A January-like winter returns in force next week, according to the National Weather Service.
A blast of arctic air behind a pair of storm systems that will pass through the Buffalo Niagara region between now and Sunday will bring sustained lake-effect snow along with a few more shots of snow from passing Canadian clipper weather systems, forecasters said.
No watches or warnings were yet sounded as of late Thursday afternoon, but it’s likely they’re coming.
The weather service, in a hazardous weather outlook, reported that a "strong cold front crossing the Great lakes may produce strong wind gusts up to 50 mph" in areas east of Lake Erie Sunday afternoon and evening with frigid air behind the front.
The snow will start late in the day Sunday.
By early Monday the lake-effect machine will be cranking in high-gear. The chilly weather pattern will stick around through the end of next week "possibly setting the stage for significant and long-lasting lake-effect snow," the weather statement said.
“It’s probably a little too early to tell” how much accumulation the region can expect – or where, according to Shawn Smith, a weather service meteorologist – but it’s likely nearly all of Buffalo Niagara can expect to see some squalls at some point.
"It's going to be an pretty active weather pattern next week," Smith said.