A double-wallop of wintry weather pounded Buffalo Niagara today and will continue into the New Year, according to forecasters.
A lake-effect band of snow set up near Niagara Falls this morning for a period before a cold front pushed through the region and shifted the winds, taking the lake-effect snow into the metro Buffalo area and Southtowns in time for this morning’s commute, according to Dan Kelly, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.
The snow band, which affected the metro area for a few hours earlier today, shifted south into Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties where it was expected to remain overnight. Up to a foot of snow is expected in the heaviest bands, according to weather service forecasters.
As of late this afternoon, more than two inches of snow was reported in places like East Aurora and Elma, while weather service spotters reported 10 inches of snow in Perrysburg.
The cold front, which is expected to grip the entire Northeast when all is said and done and possibly bring a coastal storm and up to a foot of snow in places like the New York City Thursday and Friday, is expected to drop the mercury here sharply as this evening wears on.
That will leave temperatures at about 10 to 15 degrees about the time of tonight’s annual New Year’s Eve balldrop and fireworks in downtown Buffalo.
A second wave of cold will further drop temperatures over the next two days or so, with overnight lows dropping into the single digits and even down to about zero, the coldest air this season, according to the forecast.
The fronts are pulling down frigid Arctic air from the northern-most points of the globe, forecasters said.
Kelly pointed out that weather stations in northern Minnesota, where the front has already passed, are recording temperatures as cold as minus-26 degrees. He pointed out, however, it’s not supposed to get that cold here.
In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada today, for instance, where the Buffalo Sabres are visiting for a game tonight, the temperature dipped to minus-30 degrees.