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More waterspouts, graupel, thunder possible Tuesday; wet snow overnight

A cold front descending on Western New York Tuesday morning brings with it another threat for waterspouts on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and chances for thunderstorms and ice pellets, according to the National Weather Service.

The best chances for precipitation and thunder in the Buffalo metro area today will be during the mid-morning hours just ahead of, and with the frontal passage, the weather service said.

"Waterspouts also can't be ruled out along and behind the cold front on both lakes, and on Lake Ontario later in the day," the weather service said.

Waterspouts aren't uncommon on Lake Erie during the late fall, when warm lake waters help to destabilize the atmosphere during passing cold fronts.

Saturday, a passing cold front spawned waterspouts across Lake Erie, from Ohio to the lake's eastern end, including one that traveled inland and dropped a weak EF-0 tornado in West Seneca. The rotating wind damaged a condominium building near Orchard Park Road.

Tornado tears roof off condo in West Seneca, NWS reports

Forecasts call for a widespread chance for precipitation as northwesterly winds flow into the region behind the cold front. That will help establish lake-effect rain through the balance of the day.

Forecasters said the precipitation is expected to be most persistent southeast of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

High temperatures Tuesday are expected in the upper 40s near 50 degrees across much of the Buffalo Niagara region, forecasts show.

Cold air will continue rushing into the region through the day and could help to change rain showers to wet snow across the higher terrain later tonight, forecasters said.

"Some wet snow may also mix in down to the lake plains by Wednesday morning," the weather service said. "A mix of rain and wet snow will then continue through Wednesday, with rain favored at lower elevations and wet snow at higher terrain by afternoon."

The weather service said accumulations "will be minimal."

A light coating of snow is possible across areas of higher terrain late tonight and early Wednesday morning, forecasters said.

What's graupel? You've likely seen it, even if you didn't know the name.

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