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Surprise!

Just when it looked like the days of lake-effect snow were behind us, a narrow band of snow that fired up over downtown Buffalo this afternoon is on the move.

While skies have cleared downtown, the band has drifted south of the city as of 4:30 p.m. and is extending eastward through Lancaster, to Corfu and Batavia, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s expected to continue its trek south through 6 p.m. – just in time for the evening rush hour.

“One very, very, tiny, skinny, skinny band,” said Jim Mitchell, a meteorologist at the weather service’s office at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. He estimated the band is no more than a mile or two wide.

It showed up on the radar at about 3 p.m. and is being fueled by the little bit of open water that remains on mostly frozen Lake Erie, he said. “It’s kind of a surprise, with the ice cover,” Mitchell said.