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What to expect for the last hours of 2016

Hold on to your hats, there's a new year blowing in.

The last hours of 2016 will be blustery and cold across the Buffalo Niagara region.

In areas of the Southern Tier, southern Erie and Wyoming counties where a lake-effect snow warning is posted, more than a foot of new snow is expected by tonight.

About two additional inches is forecast between now and the new year in the Buffalo metro area.

Here's what to expect, according to the National Weather Service:



There's a chance of snow showers in the metro Buffalo area, especially after midnight. Gusty west winds are expected near 30 mph.

Temperatures are forecast to drop into the mid 20s with wind chills expected in the teens through at least dawn.

Less than an inch of new snow is forecast.

The National Weather Service warns that areas from Findley Lake to Eagle could expect up to 18 inches of new snow from this lake-effect event. (National Weather Service)



Temperatures are forecast to moderate into the upper 30s, which is above-average for the daily high temperature on the last day of the year.

However, gusty winds will continue to rake the area. Gusts could be as high as 55 mph, according to a hazardous weather outlook posted this morning by the National Weather Service.

There's a chance of show showers before 2 p.m. and then rain and snow showers between about 2 and 6 p.m. before temperatures recede again and turn the precipitation back into snow into the evening, forecasts show.


New Year's Eve

Gusts will "gradually diminish during the evening hours," the weather service said, but "gusts to 35 mph will still be possible at midnight."

For the countdown to 2017, conditions in Buffalo look like this:

10 p.m. - 35 degrees with blustery west winds making it feel like 23 degrees. A 60 percent chance for snow.

11 p.m. - 35 degrees with blustery west winds making it feel like 22 degrees. A 48 percent chance for snow.

Midnight - 34 degrees with blustery west winds making it feel like 22 degrees. A 25 percent chance for snow.

1 a.m. - 34 degrees with blustery west winds making it feel like 22 degrees. A 13 percent chance for snow.


New Year's Day 2017

Mostly sunny with a high in the mid 30s.


Early next week

There's a real warm-up in store for the first few days of the New Year:

Anomalously warm temperatures are expected in the eastern half of the nation, especially over the Great Lakes by Tuesday. (

Temperatures could get into the mid 40s on Monday with a chance of rain showers.

Tuesday, the mercury could soar into the mid 50s -- more than 20 degrees warmer than average. Again, there's a chance of rain showers, the weather service reported.


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