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Deep freeze in Buffalo as lake-effect snow pounds Southern Tier

Brace yourself for another cold day in Buffalo, and more snow in Niagara County and especially the Southern Tier.

The Buffalo metro area is looking at low-teen temperatures in most areas on Wednesday, about 20 degrees below the normal temperature of 33 degrees. Scattered snow showers are expected, although National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Welch said there shouldn't be more than about one-half inch on the ground.

The city's high on Tuesday was 13 degrees, and the low, as of 11 p.m. was 6 degrees. The city declared a "Code Blue" Tuesday night, opening warming shelters from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. at the Matt Urban Hope Center, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy and Harbor House.

A winter weather advisory is in effect or for Niagara and Orleans counties for lake-effect snow, with 3 to 5 inches expected in Niagara County.

The extreme cold was wreaking havoc on cars. AAA of Western and Central New York reported an unusually high number of service calls and asked for customers' patience.

AAA was averaging about 100 calls per hour in the Buffalo metro area as of midday Tuesday, said Lindsay Kensy, a spokeswoman for the auto club. The wait time was about two hours. It had also received about 150 calls for service from the rural areas in the Southern Tier. On a normal day, AAA handles a total of 450 between the metro and rural areas combined.

Most of the calls were for dead batteries, Kensy said.

A lake-effect snow band was expected to affect the Southern Tier until Wednesday afternoon, with a lake-effect snow warning in effect until 6 p.m. for the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties and up into the Southtowns.

The southern part of Erie County was expected to receive overnight snow, and the highest elevations in Chautauqua and the western end of Cattaraguous counties were expected to have 5 to 10 inches of snow fall overnight, and to see another 4 to 8 inches later Wednesday.  That would bring totals of three to four feet in some areas.

There have been some impressive snowfall totals already. Perrysburg in Cattaraugus County logged  26 inches of snow in a 24-hour period, and by 10 p.m. Tuesday had received 37.2 inches since Monday morning. The Village of Wyoming has received 14 inches of snow. Silver Creek, in Chautauqua County, had 10.

In Erie County, the biggest snow fall totals were in Glenwood, near where Kissing Bridge ski resort is located, which got 14 inches of snow in 24 hours. Boston had 8 inches, Wales a little over 5 inches and Eden and East Aurora each measured about 3 inches. Buffalo Niagara International Airport, where Buffalo's official tally is recorded, had only a trace amount recorded.

Schools are out so there weren't any school closings to worry about. However, Meals on Wheels for WNY announced Tuesday that its Springville site is closed and that all clients who get their meals from that site will be contacted by phone. Deliveries from the region's 24 other sites should expect to get their meals delivered as scheduled.

Also, Chautauqua Supreme, County, Family, and Surrogate’s courts in Mayville, were closed Tuesday because of the heavy snow.

All this snow is great news for ski country. Holiday Valley posted to Facebook that it's had 18 inches of fresh snow over the last 24 hours.

The new snow and snow machines at the resort "has taken winter from good to great," Holiday Valley reported.

Kissing Bridge reported "fresh powder."

For the Buffalo metro area, the next round of snow could be coming this weekend, possibly New Year's Eve. Stay tuned.




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