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Parts of WNY will get up to a foot of snow — gradually — by the weekend

Mother Nature's stormy relationship with the East Coast continues today.

Although the Buffalo Niagara region will avoid a snowstorm per se, it will see a lot of snowflakes pile up between this afternoon and Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.

When all is said and done, some spots of Western New York in the Southern Tier could see as much as 12 inches of fresh snow by week's end, weather service maps show.

That's because the region will be lodged between a pair of storm systems – a trough of low pressure to the west and the big nor'easter on the East Coast – that forecasters say will engage in a bit of atmospheric do-si-do over the next couple of days.

[RELATED: Nor'easter winds reveal a surprising beach discovery by southern Maine]

Here's what the weather service says to expect in the next few days.


Increasing chances for precipitation in the Buffalo Niagara region is expected this afternoon with rain mixed with snow.

A band of snow that put down some quick snow across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties this morning is expected to turn northward this afternoon.

There's a 60 percent chance for snow in the metro Buffalo area, the weather service said.

The daytime high will be in the upper 30s.

Little accumulation is expected by evening, forecasters said.


Less than an inch of new snow is likely this evening with most of the snow expected to fall before midnight. Overnight lows in the upper 20s.


Can't take another day of mundane talk about snow around the office?

Be the first one to use the word "Fujiwara."

It's the name of a Japanese meteorologist who 97 years ago described the attraction and eventual merging of cyclones.

Weather service forecasters said "a classic Fujiwara-type" dance of the cyclones will start over the Northeast Thursday.

As an area of low pressure over the Great Lakes dives southeastward, it'll bring snow across parts of Western New York.

The weather service calls for a 50/50 chance for scattered snow showers during the day with highs in the mid 30s.

"Expect daytime snowfall amounts to range from an inch or less across the lower elevations to around an inch across the higher terrain east of Lake Erie," the weather service said.

Thursday night and Friday

The likelihood of snow in Buffalo then increases by Thursday night as "the complex dance between the two systems will come to its completion," the weather service said.

Snow is forecast throughout Western New York late Thursday night into Friday morning as two cyclones merge into one. (Weather Prediction Center)

The low pressure and the nor'easter will merge into a single cyclone over eastern New York and New England overnight into Friday, forecasters said.

"As a consequence of this, the center of the Nor'easter will be drawn farther northwestward into the St. Lawrence Valley, while circulating deep Atlantic moisture back across our entire forecast area," the weather service said.

It added: "This will result in widespread light to moderate snow developing across our enter area during this period."

There's an 80 percent chance for snow in Buffalo on Friday with highs in the mid 30s.

Forecasters pegged additional snowfall accumulations at 2-4 inches across lower elevations.

Up to 8 inches in higher terrain areas east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are possible, forecasters said.

With 4.7 inches more snow, Buffalo will reach the 100-inch milestone for seasonal snowfall for the first time in three years.

As of this morning, the city recorded 95.3 inches of snow this winter, including 12.1 inches since March 1, weather service data shows.

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