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'Against all odds,' lake-effect snow to continue this PM, couple more inches possible

A band of moderate lake-effect snow was expected to bring another 2 to 3 inches of snow across the Buffalo metro area through the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather service forecasters called today's lake-effect snow "a very unusual scenario" given that Lake Erie is nearly covered in ice.

"Against all odds, lake-effect snow continues to over-achieve this afternoon," the weather service said. "The extensive ice cover is doing little to slow the lake-effect process."

Although Lake Erie is about 90 percent covered in ice, there's still an opportunity for lake-effect snow, forecasters said this morning.

"The ice on the lake is still fairly thin," said Dan Kelly, meteorologist at the weather service. "There are cracks on the ice, and you can still transfer that moisture and that heat."

How did we get lake-effect snow from a frozen lake?

The weather service said that satellite imagery showed that lake-effect clouds were developing over Lake Erie's ice pack.

"The ice must still be thin enough to allow sensible heat flux through the ice with a small patch of open water between Chautauqua County and Long Point," it stated.

Since midnight, 3.3 inches had already fallen at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport with more expected today.

Other snowfall totals around Erie County included: Williamsville, 3.5 inches; Cheektowaga 3.3 inches; Elma, 3 inches; Clarence Center, 2.6 inches; Eden, 2.5 inches Blasdell, 2 inches.

It's also cold. At 3 p.m., it was 17 degrees at the airport.

This is the typically the coldest part of the calendar in Buffalo. Today was more than 10 degrees colder than average.

Wind chills are forecast to stay in the single digits today. (StormVistaWxModels.com)

It'll be breezy later with winds gusting possibly over 40 mph tonight, forecasters said.

Temperatures are forecast to bottom out in the teens overnight but will rebound into the upper 20s by noon Thursday.

The average temperatures for this time of year are a high of 31 degrees and a low of 18.

Southwest winds will remain breezy for the balance of Thursday with gusts over 30 mph. That will keep it feeling like its between 10 and 15 degrees.

And, there's a chance for a repeat performance of today's long-odds snowfall, forecasters said.

Temperatures finally reach back above freezing on Friday for the first time since early last Friday in the waning hours of last week's first January thaw.

Temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 40s by Monday in Buffalo. The average high for the date is 31 degrees. (National Weather Service)

The second one starts on Friday.

It won't be as warm as last week's low 60s, but it'll have a little more staying power.

Temperatures are forecast to reach into the mid-30s Friday, mid-40s Saturday and Sunday and upper 40s on Monday.

Partly sunny skies are expected Friday while chances for rain showers start to increase later Saturday and becoming likely by Monday, the weather service said.

 

 

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