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A 'warm up'... and more than a foot of snow possible by Tuesday

Pick your poison.

The bone-chilling cold from the weekend is passing away, but a strong storm system approaching late tonight into Tuesday could bring as much as 15 inches of heavy, wet snow across Western New York, the National Weather Service reported.

A winter storm warning is posted from 7 p.m. tonight through 7 p.m. Tuesday and calls for "heavy snow" for Western New York. Forecasts show the heaviest snow is expected overnight into Tuesday and for the morning commute.

Up to a foot of snow is possible across most areas of Western New York, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to a foot of snow is possible across most areas of Western New York, according to the National Weather Service forecast.

"Difficult travel conditions" could result with visibility cut to less than a quarter mile, according to the storm watch.

The weather-maker is being generated by a passing low that will pass from the southern Appalachians to the Adirondack region by late Tuesday. It's expected to pull moisture from as far away as the Gulf of Mexico northward, according to the weather service forecaster's discussion.

"Significant accumulations" of snow on the cold side of the system and "heavy rain on the warm side" is expected.

Areas further to east in the Finger Lakes and near eastern Lake Ontario will see early snowfall that will likely switch over to all rain, forecasters project, however, the Buffalo metro area and whole of Western New York "will likely see all snow for this event and the best potential for the highest snow accumulations."

In between those two areas, for the western Finger Lakes and Genesee Valley, it will start out as snow but switch over to a "wintry mix" of snow, sleet and possibly freezing rain as some warmer air from the east mixes into the storm, the weather service reported.

The temperature will seem much warmer by comparison to the last couple of days. Monday's high is forecast to be 32 degrees. It will only drop to about 29 degrees overnight with a forecast high of 34 degrees Tuesday, however, will likely remain just cold enough to produce the heavy snow across the region.

The winter storm comes on the heels of a frigid Valentine's weekend that saw temperatures drop to as low as minus-12 degrees at 8:11 a.m. Sunday. It was the coldest day in Buffalo since Jan. 17, 1982 when it dipped to minus-16 degrees.

Last February - the coldest month on record in Buffalo - the temperature dropped as low as minus-10 twice. That was exactly one year ago on Feb. 15 and 16, 2015.

Sunday morning's low missed the all-time record for Valentine's Day by a single degree. That record, minus-13, was set in 1943.

It was the second straight day the mercury dropped into negative territory and the only two days of the season thus-far. Saturday's low was minus-4 degrees.

As of 3 a.m. today, the temperature remained at just 4 degrees, but was forecast to climb quickly out of the single digits as this morning wears on.

The temperature will climb from the single digits to almost 30 degrees by lunchtime today. (NWS)

The temperature will climb from the single digits to almost 30 degrees by lunchtime today. (NWS)

After the storm system leaves late Tuesday, forecasters said another "westerly flow" of cold air cuts back across the Great Lakes region and will bring "wrap-around moisture" that could result in more snow showers for the region Wednesday and Wednesday night.

 

 

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