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Virtually all Western New Yorkers should enjoy the perfect kind of white Christmas today – with a light coating of snow creating a picture-perfect Christmas postcard, but not enough snow or howling winds to cause mayhem on the road to grandma’s house.

But the real thing, with heavy snow and hazardous driving conditions, is expected to hit here Wednesday and Thursday.

The National Weather Service on Monday afternoon issued a winter storm watch for the whole area, from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.

Snow totals are expected to reach up to a foot, and possibly more in select locations.

Before that, a less severe storm pushing into the area late Monday night and into the predawn hours today should dump an inch or two of snow on the whole region.

Just in time for Christmas.

“Everyone in Western New York has got at least a coating of snow,” National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Hibbert said Monday evening. “It may not be a lot, and there might be some blades of grass poking through here and there, but this additional inch will cover those up. And it should be enough to cover Santa’s tracks.”

After Christmas, the synoptic snowstorm barreling in from the southwest is expected to hit the Southern Tier late Wednesday afternoon and evening, before heading northward and lasting into the overnight and Thursday morning.

“The impact will be similar for all of Western New York,” Hibbert said.

email: gwarner@buffnews.com