Western New York won’t have very long to wait for winter weather after the season officially arrives at 6:12 a.m. Friday. By Saturday morning, parts of the region could be under more than a foot of snow.
The National Weather Service has put the traditional snow belt areas – Southern Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties – under a winter storm watch from Friday morning through Saturday morning, with the heaviest snow expected Friday night. Up to 15 inches could fall on the Chautauqua Ridge, forecasters say, with 3 to 7 inches in other parts of the watch area. Only an inch or two is predicted for the Buffalo metro area and the northern counties.
But first there’s a wind advisory from 1 p.m. today to 1 p.m. Friday, when strong winds could gust up to 50 mph along the Lake Erie shore in Chautauqua and Southern Erie counties. Elsewhere, winds up to 30 mph are likely. They’re expected to push highs into the mid-40s today before rain starts falling tonight and temperatures fall to the freezing mark, bringing in the snow Friday.