Winter is back.
The spring-like weather that warmed Buffalo mid-week quickly spun into a 43-degree temperature drop in a span of 13 hours Friday, catapulting Western New York right back into winter.
The local temperature reached a high of 60 degrees by 10:46 a.m. Friday but fell to 17 by midnight.
Ice jams and freezing rain are over, but the cold is here to stay with minimal snow accumulations expected heading into the new week.
Buffalo woke to a nippy 11 degrees Saturday, with the thermometer expected to reach a high of 12 for the day. A repeat of continued cold is forecast for Sunday.
"We saw quite the temperature drop yesterday," said Shawn Smith, National Weather Service meteorologist. "That's quite the drop. A strong, arctic cold front was moving through, associated with the storm system that brought winter back into Western New York."
The significant rainfall Thursday into Friday amounted to more than half an inch in Buffalo.
Then the arctic front led to a drastic cooldown, leading to a changeover from rain, to freezing rain, to sleet as the storm system took hold.
Western New Yorkers should not be fazed.
"It's not unusual in Buffalo in the winter," Smith said. "It's a fairly common pattern throughout the length of winter."
Area snow clearing crews were out in force early Saturday to clear about half a foot of snow in some spots. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport reported 6.6 inches of snow had fallen as of 7 a.m. Deepest snowfalls were reported in southern Erie County and east toward Rochester and Livingston County.
"This was not a lake-effect event, but a widespread storm," Smith said. "Everyone got several inches ranging form 4 inches in Dunkirk to 6.6. inches here."
In Stafford in Genesee County, 9.3 inches had fallen overnight, with 10.6 inches reported in Rochester.
Cold air will be a constant through the rest of the weekend and much of next week.
"We'll stay cold now through the entire weekend and into next week as an arctic air mass lingers over the Buffalo area," Smith said.
By tonight, the low temperature will hover around 3 degrees in Buffalo, but could drop below zero away from the lake.
Sunday could see a high of 15 degrees, again far below the 31-degree normal for Buffalo in mid-January. However, the wind today and Sunday will bring some much lower wind chill readings. of minus 5 to 10 degrees below zero at night.
But not much snow is in the short-term forecast, other than an occasional flurry, except for south of Lake Ontario.
A weak storm system is headed this way next week that Smith said will bring another widespread general snowfall.
"Probably a quick couple of inches," he said, heading from Mondaynight into Tuesday, with temperatures in the low 20s, still below normal.
Some areas in Western New York have lingering flooding concerns, such as Batavia and a few spots along the Allegany River in the Southern Tier that are expected to eventually retreat.
"This wasn't really a block buster type storm," Smith said. "Six inches in Buffalo is really nothing. It's not like a significant lake-effect event that can bring feet of snow. It's mid-January. These temperatures, while they are below normal, it can be expected."