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What to expect in next 36 hours: One more little shot of snow, lots and lots of wind

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An "extreme" lake-effect storm that dumped 77 inches in Orchard Park has left the Buffalo metro area, but forecasters from the National Weather Service warn that blowing snow Sunday night and Monday could make travel difficult.

Here's what to expect. (Updated 7:30 p.m.)

A final shot of snow is forecast Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service. 

The bigger issue continues be the windy conditions, with strong gusts creating the potential for drifting and limited visibility while driving in flat areas. Tonight the lake-effect band will come across the region one more time, adding an inch of fluffy snow in the Buffalo metro area and several inches in persistent areas on the Southern Tier.

"It will be in such a weakened state that there won't be a ton of snowfall with it," Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Buffalo,  said of any snow expected Sunday night.

And that's good news, given how hard areas already have been hit.

Orchard Park continues to dig out from a local high of 77 inches, while Hamburg's 73.7 and Blasdell's 65 followed. Parts of central and southern Erie County remain in a travel ban as county, state and even the National Guard crews continue the snow-clearing process.

At the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Reynolds said this November is now the second snowiest November on record, coming in second to November 2014.

Elsewhere, the City of Buffalo has a traffic advisory except in South Buffalo, south of William Street, where the traffic ban still is in effect. Travel bans also remain in effect for the City of Lackawanna and the Towns of Evans, Hamburg and Orchard Park. Orchard Park Police announced Sunday evening that the town's traffic ban would end at midnight. 

The rest of Erie County continues under a travel advisory. Motorists are advised to use caution. County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Sunday morning he hoped to have all streets and highways open again within 24 to 48 hours. 

The Thruway is open to all traffic from Rochester to the Pennsylvania state line, but the Thruway Authority cautioned that some exits may be blocked due to snow removal. In a briefing Sunday morning, Erie County officials said Exits 56 and 57 remain closed on I-90. Route 400 reopened Sunday. The entire expressway section of Route 219 from the Thruway to Springville was still closed Sunday evening. 

Here's how the weather is expected to play out through Tuesday:

Sunday evening:

A lake effect snow warning continues from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties until 10 p.m., with snow falling at the rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour in the heaviest squalls. Meanwhile, wind will continue to be a problem. 

"West winds gusting as high as 45 mph will create areas of blowing and drifting snow," the Weather Service wrote in a 3:39 a.m. Sunday update.

A winter weather advisory elsewhere in the region expired at 7 p.m. Sunday. 

The Buffalo area should see little accumulation during the day, but may get a final shot of snow Sunday night as winds shift again, bringing another 1 to 3 inches. Sunday night's temperatures will be in the mid- to upper 20s.


The arrival of warmer air will put an end to the lake effect and start melting down all this snow. There's a chance of rain and snow showers in the afternoon. It will be partly sunny and very windy, with a high in the upper 30s and gusts of up to 50 mph. A wind advisory for all of Western New York except Allegany County will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"It is going to warm up," Reynolds said of Monday and the early forecast for the rest of the week. "There will be some melting."

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Chief of the Breaking News/Criminal Justice Desk

I've worked at The Buffalo News since 2005. I previously worked as a reporter at the New York Daily News and the Charlotte Observer and was a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.


I'm a Genesee County native and Syracuse University grad who covered business at the (Binghamton) Press & Sun-Bulletin and at The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I joined The Buffalo News in September 2021, covering the business of health care.

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