Locally, the region will be face tough conditions starting early Monday, a mix of high winds, plunging temperatures and, depending on where you live, perhaps lots of snow. “We’ve got multipronged hazards we’re looking at,” said Jeff Wood, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Overnight rain was expected to possibly change over to snow Monday morning, with light accumulation. After that is over, the region will be hit by winds of 30 to 40 mph, with gusts of up to 60 mph. The highest winds are expected in the 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. time frame, but the whole day will be windy, Wood said.
Temperatures will start the day in the upper 20s, but by the afternoon, they will fall into the low teens, with below-zero wind chills.
Lake-effect snow is forecast to start ramping up in the afternoon, around the time of the evening commute, and will particularly affect towns such as West Seneca, Orchard Park, Hamburg and Elma. Those areas could see 5 inches of snow by the end of the day, but that is only the beginning: from late Monday until about 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, some of those areas could see totals of up to 3 feet. “Where you are getting hit with snow, it’s going to be very intense periods of snowfall, significant accumulations,” Wood said. “And when you factor that wind in, you could see local whiteout conditions, very dangerous driving conditions.”
South Buffalo looks like it will be on the northern edge of the lake-effect snow. From late Monday through Wednesday morning, it could see anywhere from just a few inches of snow to up to 2 feet. “Some of that is going to come down to where the band really sets up,” Wood said.
Temperatures on Monday night will bottom out in the 0 to minus 5 range. But with winds continuing to blow, wind chills could fall as low as minus 25 to minus 30 in the Buffalo area.
On Tuesday, the Arctic air mass will continue to sit over the Buffalo area, holding temperatures down to the 0- to 5-degree range. And with winds still blowing, even the daytime wind chill will be in the minus-10 to minus-20 degree range. “This air mass is actually colder than what we had a few days ago,” Wood said.
Wednesday, temperatures will begin to moderate, rising into the teens, and the winds will start to abate. “It will seem a little better, compared to what we’ve been seeing,” Wood said. And take heart: the forecast calls for temperatures to continue to rise on Thursday, and by Friday, we should be back above freezing. Beyond that: “We’re expecting kind of relatively mild temperatures to last into next week,” Wood said.