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Warmup after snowstorm shouldn't cause flooding issues, National Weather Service says

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Cayuga Creek restoration (copy)

Two systems are expected to bring rain to Western New York this weekend, with minor flooding possible around creeks like Cayuga Creek, pictured here.

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As temperatures warm and the November snowstorm thaws, rain in the Buffalo-area forecast this weekend could produce minor flooding, the National Weather Service Buffalo said Wednesday.

Two systems are expected to bring rain to Western New York, one Thanksgiving night into Friday and another Saturday night through Sunday, said Phillip Pandolfo, an NWS Buffalo meteorologist. The former is expected to bring about a tenth of an inch of rain, but the latter could provide a little more rainfall, he said.

Pandolfo noted that "minor flooding" is possible for later this weekend around area creeks, citing the Buffalo Creek, Ellicott Creek and Cayuga Creek. But he did not expect any "high-impact flooding," even considering the multiple feet of snow the region received last weekend.

The meteorologist pointed to an explanation in the hydrology section of NWS Buffalo's area forecast discussion webpage.

"Historic lake effect snows have left snow water equivalent values up to around six inches off Lake Erie. However, the heaviest bands were quite narrow, so basin averages are about half of this," the section reads. "It's also important to note that historic lake snow does not always result in significant flooding.

Following a similar lake effect snow that occurred in November 2014, five forecast points reached minor flood stage resulting in generally minor impacts from flooding despite the historic snows at the time, he said.

Pandolfo said there might be a little standing water around the creeks, and that NWS is keeping tabs on any change in the systems that could cause the potential for flooding.

"It is something we'll be keeping an eye on," he said. .

He is expecting Western New York to experience pleasant weather on Thanksgiving Day before the arrival of the first system.

Crews using heavy equipment clear snow from the edge of South Buffalo Road in Orchard Park after a lake-effect storm dumped record snow on the region.

Ben Tsujimoto can be reached at btsujimoto@buffnews.com, at (716) 849-6927 or on Twitter at @Tsuj10.

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