First Defense: Winter Storm Warnings In Place For Potentially Heavy Lake Effect Snow Through Thursday

JAMESTOWN – We’re basically going from spring with thunderstorms and temps in the 40s, to winter with potentially heavy lake snow in a period of 10 or so hours.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Lake Effect Snow for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Southern Erie and Wyoming Counties, going into effect at 1 AM Wednesday morning and lasting through 6 PM Thursday.

There is also a Winter Weather Advisory for Lake Effect Snow for Allegany County until 6 AM Thursday.

Likewise, the Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Lake Effect Snow for Erie County, PA until 6 PM Thursday, while the State College NWS put up a Winter Weather Advisory for Lake Effect Snow for Warren County, PA until 1 PM Thursday.

A Warm front has passed through the region earlier today, spiking temps into the 40s across Western New York with widespread rain showers and a couple embedded thunderstorms associated with an upper Low currently over Michigan.

Some of those storms produced some moderate to heavy rain along with dropping some small hail. Those storms remainder under severe limits however.

As a Cold front approaches behind this system, a northwest wind will drag Arctic air back into region, causing a changeover to snow tonight.

Initially, the snow will start as an area-wide snow but Lake Erie will soon get involved and generate a snow band of its own by the overnight.

That lake effect band could be moderate to intense in nature, producing some heavy snowfall rates and near whiteout conditions at times.

Lake effect snow will continue through Wednesday and Thursday, finally settling down Thursday afternoon as it starts to weaken.

Here are the updated snowfall projections from our exclusive “Snow Machine” algorithm based on the newest data: A good 6 to 10 inches are likely across lower elevations, with the potential for 12 inches on the highest hills of the Southern Tier, especially near and along the Chautauqua Ridge.

There is the chance that the computer is underestimating some of these totals and higher amounts exceeding 12 inches could be possible within the most intense and organized lake snow bands.

We will continue to examine the newest data and we’ll give you all the latest right here and on News Now at Noon.

Beyond the lake effect, winter is here to stay as below average temperatures will take us through the remainder of the week into early next with a limited chance for snow showers each day.

WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.

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