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Spring chill holding on a bit longer

If you’re waiting for real spring weather to arrive, hold on just a bit longer.

Temperatures are expected to fall to the low 20s in Buffalo Saturday – shy of a record, but probably enough to make you wonder why Punxsutawney Phil’s opinion still counts for anything.

The record low for April 10 is 19 degrees.

“As long as we keep the lake effect clouds, we won’t quite make it there,” said Jon Hitchcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Ski season may be over, but significant snowfalls were still reported last night into Saturday morning in the Southern Tier. “We’ve gotten a few five- and six-inch [snowfall] reports from within a few miles of the state line,” such as outside of Frewsburg, in Chautauqua County, he said.

Though spring started about three weeks ago, Hitchcock said it isn’t that unusual for the region to get these kinds of snowfalls this time of year.

“We usually see some accumulating snow in the first half of April,” he said. “What is unusual is how often it’s happened through the first nine days of April. We’ve been pretty cold and snowy for really the entire time. Usually when we get April snow, it lasts for a day or two and then we warm up again. So it’s more about how persistent this cold has been this year.”

Blame a persistent trough of low pressure in the Eastern United States.

“That directs all the cold weather out of Canada into the Great Lakes and the Northeast,” Hitchcock said.

A warm front will pass through Sunday afternoon and evening, which will bring snow at first that will turn into rain later Sunday night into Monday morning.

Monday should be about 50 degrees, with rain.

Tuesday will turn colder again, into the 40s.

But things are looking much better heading toward next weekend.

“It looks like high pressure builds overhead, so we have an extended period of dry weather from Thursday through next weekend,” Hitchcock said. Temperatures could hit the 60s next weekend.

“It looks like spring is on the way, we just have to hold on for the next five days or so,” Hitchcock said.