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'Bitterly cold wind chills' forecast overnight for WNY

Winter weather advisories expired earlier this afternoon across much of the northern half of the Buffalo Niagara region, but the coldest air is still to come, the National Weather Service said.

"The combination of cold temperatures and persistent wind will make tonight feel colder than it has been for quite some time," the weather service said in a special weather statement issued this afternoon. "Wind chills will drop below zero across most of Western New York."

Weather service forecasters said the coldest conditions will be late tonight and early Friday morning.

"Frostbite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken," the weather service cautioned.

Overnight lows in metro Buffalo were forecast in the mid-teens. With a northwest wind, it'll feel even colder.

Friday will bring partly sunny conditions to metro Buffalo, but highs won't escape the low 20s and overnight lows will return back to the teens, the weather service said.

Wind chill temperatures will be at or near zero by Friday morning's commute. (Image courtesy of the National Weather Service)

Meanwhile, in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, a winter storm warning remained in effect until 7 p.m. as heavy lake-effect snow and gusty winds were expected to continue in narrow bands. Additional accumulations of 2 inches more were expected today in those spots.

That's on top of the nearly 1½ feet of snow that fell near Jamestown.

Chances for snow showers are possible in metro Buffalo for both days of the weekend as well. Highs are forecast in the 20s with overnight lows in the teens.

Starting Sunday, Buffalo will enter its climatological coldest part of its year. The average high temperature is 31 degrees and the average low is 18 degrees.

Wednesday's return to wintry weather featured the first inch of snow in Buffalo in 2019. It interrupted an otherwise mild and generally snow-free start to the New Year.

Heading into Wednesday, this was the least snowiest start to January since 2007, and second-least since 1992.

For the winter at large, the top snowfall thus far – 6.2 inches – came on Dec. 6. It's been almost two decades since there wasn't a larger single snowfall during a Buffalo winter.

Sardinia was the top place in Erie County for snowfall with 9.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Celoron's 16.5 inches was the most in Western New York. The region's official measuring station at Buffalo Niagara International Airport recorded 3.6 inches, the weather service said.

Celoron leads WNY snow tallies with 16+ inches; Sardinia leads Erie Co.

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