Yup. Once again, the snows are heading this way, and they may be worse than first anticipated.
The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a winter storm warning for all of Western New York, from 2 a.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday. About 12 hours earlier, the weather service issued a winter storm watch, which is less serious.
Forecasters now are calling for a potential accumulation of 8 to 12 inches for the region – up slightly from the previous 7-12 figure. That snow should be accompanied by the usual culprits: snow-covered roads, poor visibility, increasing winds and blowing and drifting snow.
There is some wiggle room in the forecast, though, as the weather service website earlier called the forecast confidence only “medium.”
“There still is some uncertainty about the exact track,” meteorologist Dan Kelly said of the storm system this morning. “Pretty much everybody is going to get some snow. It’s just a question of how much.”
This won’t be one of those concentrated lake-effect storms, the kind that can leave the Southtowns battered while Niagara County remains completely dry. Instead, Kelly called this storm “more of a broad-brush snow.”
Forecasters also are calling for a brief cold snap, including low temperatures in the single digits in most areas Wednesday night. Those lows could dip below zero in the more elevated rural areas. Daytime highs are expected to hit the high teens Thursday and the upper 30s on Friday, according to the National Weather Service website.
Kelly was asked to reply to those who can’t believe the relentlessness of our long, cruel winter.
“It is still March,” he said. “Snowstorms do happen in Buffalo in March.”
A snapshot of some memorable snowfalls
• March 17, 1936 – 19 inches of snow falls on St. Patrick’s Day.
• March 2-3, 1976 – Area ice storm causes $80 million damage.
• March 13-14, 1993 – Blizzard of ’93 drops 17.5 inches of snow.
• March 16, 2004 – The 14.3 inches of snow is still a record for that day in March.
• March 7-8, 2008 – Two-day snowfall total of 21.3 inches.
• March 27, 2011 – Spring brings 6.8 inches of snow.
Source: National Weather Service