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'Plowable snow' likely in parts of WNY this weekend

Today is the calm before the storms.

Actually, it's one big weekend storm system that will bring wind and heavy rain to Western New York on Saturday, and wind and lake-effect snow on Sunday.

The storm system is on a rapid coast-to-coast trek. Forecast maps show that by Saturday evening its center will pass over Western New York.

The heaviest of the lake-effect snow will be confined to the Boston Hills and along the Chautauqua Ridge, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service.

"Most likely on the order of several inches," forecasters said.

About an inch or two of snow is possible in the Buffalo metro area by Monday morning.

Here's what the National Weather Service says to expect, and when:

Today: Mostly sunny skies are expected early with increasing cloudiness by afternoon. Northwest winds will shift and become southwesterly by afternoon. The daytime high will be in the upper 30s.

Tonight: Chances for showers after midnight become likely by about 3 a.m. Temperatures will start in the mid 30s but increase overnight with a southerly flow. Winds will also pick up and gust between 20 and 30 mph. About 0.15 inch of rain is expected.

Nearly 2 inches of precipitation, mostly rain, is expected to fall this weekend across parts of Western New York. Some areas are also forecast to pick up "plowable snow," forecasters at the National Weather Service said.

Saturday: A 100 percent chance for rain, which will remain steady pretty much all day. Winds gusting over 30 mph. Above-average temperatures in the low 50s. As much as three-quarters of an inch of rain is possible. Some spots south of Buffalo could see higher amounts with even a few thunderstorms.

Saturday Night: Rain at first, transitioning to snow in the wee hours of Sunday morning and changing over to all snow after about 4 a.m. with deepening cold air. Temperatures are expected to dip from the low 40s about midnight into the mid 30s by daybreak. Gusty winds will make it feel like it's in the 20s. Up to another half-inch of precipitation is possible, forecasters said.

Sunday: Snow showers are likely early in the Buffalo area, with about a half-inch accumulation possible by 7 a.m. and another eight-tenths inch the rest of the day possible. Heavier accumulations are likely south of the city, especially in the Boston Hills and in the western Southern Tier where several inches of lake-effect snow is expected as a rush of cold air from the northwest flows over Lake Erie. High temperatures are expected in the 30s.

Sunday night: A 40 percent chance for snow showers, otherwise mostly cloudy with overnight lows in the upper 20s.

Incidentally, this weekend is the third anniversary of the double lake-effect snowstorm of November 2014 that dropped up to 7 feet of snow in parts of the eastern suburbs of Buffalo and the Southtowns.

November 2014's lake-effect snowstorms

Lake-effect snowfall of epic proportions isn't expected this weekend, but national weather experts Thursday suggested Great Lakes residents gird their loins for a cold winter season with a visit by the polar vortex.

Those predictions were based on a frigid, snowy Siberian October, which often portend longer, colder winters in North America.

Report: Polar vortex to bring 'extended period of severe winter weather'

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