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A band of moderate to heavy snow is expected to start falling during tonight’s rush hour and could cause slick and otherwise difficult driving conditions.

The National Weather Service issued a “special weather statement” late Thursday morning to warn motorists about the system headed this way. Counties affected include Erie, Niagara and Genesee.

Snow could come down at a rate of an inch or more per hour between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., said meteorologist Jim Mitchell. Winds will also gust at about 30 mph.

While the system won’t bring large amounts of snow, the “snow bursts” could reduce visibility on roads to less than 1/4 mile and make roads slippery, Mitchell said.

“It’s more the timing,” Mitchell said, explaining that the snow’s arrival during rush hour might cause more problems than its quantity. He pointed out that the snow won’t be heavy enough to warrant a storm advisory.

A little more snow is expected to fall overnight, perhaps an inch.

Friday is expected to be windy, with gusts in the 45-mph range.