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What to expect in the next 36 hours: Tapering off

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Here's what to expect from the winter storm that clobbered Western New York and much of the eastern United States for most of Monday:

NWS map Monday a.m.

The heaviest snow accumulations are forecast for Niagara, northern Erie and western Orleans counties.

Overnight: The widespread snow will taper off from west to east, and as it does, some lake-effect snow will begin southeast of Lake Erie and along Lake Ontario. West to northwest winds gusting up to 35 mph will continue to cause blowing and drifting snow throughout the entire region.

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday for northern Erie, Genesee, Wyoming and Allegany counties.

That Winter Weather Advisory stays in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday for the rest of the Western New York, due primarily to the strong winds of Lakes Erie and Ontario.

The National Weather Service forecasts additional snowfall amounts overnight:

• Northern Erie County – 1 to 2 inches.

• Southern Erie County – 3 to 5 inches in the most persistent snow bands.

• Niagara, Orleans counties – up to 2 inches.

• Genesee County – about 2 inches.

• Wyoming County – 1 to 3 inches in the most persistent bands.

• Cattaraugus County – 3 to 5 inches.

• Chautauqua County – 3 to 6 inches.

• Allegany County – 1 to 2 inches.

The National Weather Service predicted storm totals through the end of Monday of 12 to 18 inches across Western New York, with as much as 18 to 22 inches in Niagara County.

By late Monday morning, several places had already reached 20 inches of accumulation.

Side streets in many areas remain difficult to traverse. A number of municipalities issued travel advisories or bans and warned against unnecessary travel when advisories were lifted.

Tuesday: Lake-effect snow will end, but scattered flurries will continue throughout the day. Winds should diminish and become light and variable in the afternoon. Temperatures will begin rising through the 20s. There may even be some sunny breaks. 

Tuesday night: A chance of snow showers continues throughout the evening, then is expected to turn to rain before dawn as temperatures rise to the freezing mark. Winds will shift to the south and pick up to 15 to 20 mph.

Wednesday: The weather service predicts a significant warmup, with rain and snow in the morning and then rain alone and temperatures in the high 30s. Winds will gust up to 40 mph. 

Wednesday night: Forecasters say temperatures will plunge sharply as a cold front arrives, diving into the teens. There also will be a chance of snow showers, accumulating an inch or two in traditional snow belt areas. 

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Dale Anderson has been a Buffalo News staff reporter since 1968. He was the chief rock and pop writer for 20 years and helped establish the weekend entertainment magazine Gusto.

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