As much as 5 inches of snow is possible across areas of southern Erie County along with Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties where a winter weather advisory is posted through 4 a.m. Wednesday
A winter weather advisory is posted for northern Erie County, including metro Buffalo, and Genesee County until 10 p.m.
Accumulations of 2 to 4 inches is expected in areas where areas of lake-enhanced snow develop. Winds will also whip around falling snow and snow that's already fallen.
"Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility," the weather service said. "The hazardous conditions will impact the evening commute."
"Right now, the edge of the snow is just kind of moving southeast and just moving into Kenmore and the Tonawandas. From there, north and west, there is a bit more snow coverage," said Steve Welch, a meteorologist at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga said around 4 p.m. He said the affected areas will be north, closer to Lake Ontario and south along areas that more susceptible to northwest winds.
"An unseasonably cold air mass will be in place through much of the week with bouts of lake-effect snow," the National Weather Service said.
Daytime temperatures were in the teens today with an overnight low forecast in the single digits. Bursts of snow and subzero wind chills are expected.
"While overall snowfall amounts within the above region will not be overly impressive given the mostly ice-covered lake, potential lake enhancement should still be enough to push total amounts to the 2 to 4 inch or 3 to 5 inch range," the weather service said.
It added: "Combined with the afternoon and early evening timing and the potential for increasingly brisk winds to produce some blowing snow, we have decided to err on the side of caution and hoist a Winter Weather Advisory for much of western New York from this afternoon into tonight."
Southwesterly winds are forecast to increase during the afternoon and could gust over 35 mph, the weather service said. That could push wind chill values to minus 10 degrees.
Chances for snow showers remain in the forecast Tuesday night.
Another winter weather advisory is posted for Niagara County and Orleans County from 10 p.m. until 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Lake-effect snow off of Lake Ontario is expected with the greatest amounts falling near the shoreline north of Ridge Road, the weather service said.
Up to 5 inches is possible with bitterly cold wind chills as low as minus 10.
Overnight lows are expected in the single digits. Breezy conditions are forecast to persist, keeping wind chill values below zero.
"Significant ice coverage on Lake Erie will somewhat limit the lake response, but as has been shown over the past couple events there still are ample breaks (in the ice) to provide some differential heating and moisture," the weather service said. "It is expected that model guidance will be underdone with lake-effect precipitation off Lake Erie."
Several inches of snow are likely in the snow belt and higher elevations east of Lake Erie late Tuesday.
By Wednesday, slight chances for snow showers are forecast with highs in the teens and subzero wind chills again.
Another passing trough could ramp up lake-effect snows, especially off Lake Ontario that could affect parts of Niagara and Orleans counties.
Some more snow showers are forecast across most of Western New York Wednesday night with light accumulation and overnight lows near 11 degrees, the weather service said.
Some lake-effect off of Lake Erie could also result in some persistent snow showers through Thursday with light additional snow accumulations in those typical snow belt areas and spots in higher elevations, forecasters said.
"A warmer air mass will return in time for the weekend, but also with the potential for rain by Sunday," the weather service said.