Mother Nature has a sense of humor. Or, maybe she was jealous you had a long weekend.
After a holiday weekend that book-ended a storm that brought a foot or more of widespread snow to most areas of the Buffalo Niagara region and subzero temperatures with dangerously cold wind chills, the return to work and school Tuesday will be much different.
Not less active weather-wise, just different.
The effects of another approaching winter storm system were due in Western New York late Tuesday night. National Weather Service forecasters were grappling Monday with what type of precipitation it would bring as temperatures climb quickly from near 0 degrees Tuesday morning to the low 30s by mid-afternoon.
Some relatively calm hours were expected Tuesday with increasing clouds. But, the warmer air in advance of the next storm system was expected to arrive as mixed precipitation late Tuesday night and into the overnight hours. Forecasters were trying to pinpoint where areas of snow, sleet and freezing rain would arrive and when.
"This complex transition will almost certainly lead to winter weather advisories being issued for the threat of freezing rain," the weather service said.
Precipitation was expected to change over to all rain on Wednesday as temperatures climb into the low 40s, forecasters said.
Wednesday's chance for rain was pegged at nearly 100 percent, the weather service said.
"Temperatures across the region should soar into the 40s over the Western counties," the weather service said. "And, with very breezy conditions, and dew points above freezing expected, we can anticipate a significant snowmelt."
Then, a pair of cold fronts associated with the storm system are forecast to cross the region overnight Wednesday. Temperatures will drop behind them and chances for snow showers return by Thursday with highs in the lower 30s, the weather service said.
After that, the roller-coaster ride returns to the freezer.
Highs on Friday and Saturday are forecast in the teens with overnight lows in the single digits.
Monday's bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills brought Buffalo it's coldest day since Jan. 7, 2018, when it dropped to minus 5 degrees. The mercury bottomed out at minus 4 degrees early Monday during a roughly 12-hour subzero stay driven by Arctic high pressure. It was expected to toe-tip the subzero region again overnight Monday into Tuesday morning.
Wind chills were in the double-digits below zero from 6 p.m. Sunday through mid-afternoon Monday with brisk westerly winds and air temperatures struggling to escape the single-digits above zero, weather service data showed.
Prior to Monday, Buffalo's last single-digit daily high temperature was a 4-degree day, Jan. 6, 2018.
Climatologically, this is Buffalo's coldest part of the calendar. The average daily temperatures are 31 degrees for a high and 18 degrees for a low.