With the flip of the calendar to March often come thoughts of spring.
Hold on to them until next week.
The first week of the month will remain under the grip of stormy wintry weather with mixed precipitation, ice and snow expected, and single-digit temperatures later in the week.
But, models and forecasters project a "pattern change" is in the offing for the second week of the month. One that could bring "springlike weather" and a return of temperatures near 60 degrees.
Here's what this week has in store:
Today and tonight
A blustery day is in store with the latest in "a parade of Clipper lows" passing through the region, forecasters report.
The National Weather Service posted a wind advisory from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. for all of the counties of Western New York except Cattaraugus and Allegany. West winds up to 50 mph can be expected. The winds will be the strongest between about 2 and 6 p.m., forecasts show.
A chance of rain and show is possible today, mainly after 4 p.m., but any accumulation will be minor. Daytime highs will be more seasonable, reaching only the upper 30s. That's a far cry from Sunday's 62 degree high in Buffalo.
With the turn of the calendar, comes a shift in the wind direction. They'll become more northerly after midnight. That will result in a dip in temperatures as well. The mercury is forecast to bottom out in the lower 20s overnight.
Tuesday and Wednesday
For the third week in a row, a developing storm system in the Mississippi Valley will track northward through the Ohio Valley, then Western New York and up toward New England. The exact track was still uncertain this morning, but forecasters said "this system will have the potential to produce widespread significant snow or mixed wintry accumulations."
A winter storm watch is posted from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning for Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties.
Chances for precipitation increase as Tuesday wears on into the afternoon hours. The type of precipitation looks tricky to say at this point. Rain is likely in the Southern Tier. Snow is likely in the Niagara Frontier. And, a mix or rain, snow and sleet is possible in between, forecasts say.
Up to 10 inches of snow is possible.
In Buffalo, more than 4 inches of snow is forecast to fall between 1 p.m. Tuesday and 1 p.m. Wednesday from the tracking storm system. Some sleet is likely between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday. And ice is also likely during the evening hours between about 7 and 9 p.m., forecasts show.
Higher snowfall amounts are projected further north in the Niagara Frontier over the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Tuesday's high temperature will be right around the freezing point and will drop into the lower 20s overnight. The temperature stays in the mid-20s on Wednesday before turning colder as "a much colder Canadian airmass" invades Western New York behind the passing storm system late Wednesday night.
The temperature is forecast to drop to about 12 degrees overnight Wednesday.
Thursday and Friday
An area of Canadian high pressure will prevail. That will help clear the sky, but it will be unseasonably chilly.
Thursday's high is forecast to be 22 degrees under partly sunny conditions.
It will drop to about 9 degrees overnight, rebound into the mid-20s for Friday and drop into the teens Friday night.
The average high for the dates are 37 and 38 degrees with overnight lows of 22 degrees.
Weekend and beyond
Seasonable conditions are expected for the weekend.
Saturday's forecast calls for a mostly sunny day with a high in the mid-30s. A partly sunny Sunday is forecast with a high near 40.
Then comes the pattern break:
The National Weather Service doesn't make exact forecasts further out than one week, however, forecast models show a decided warm-up for the region.
Weather Service forecasters acknowledged as much in this morning's forecaster's discussion:
Meanwhile, AccuWeather forecasters, who do offer daily temperature projections past seven days, are also bullish on a second week warmup: