First Defense: Lake Effect Snow On Cue In Western New York

A Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in effect until 7:00 a.m. Friday for much of the Southern Tier with the potential for some heavy accumulation from a Lake Erie-generated band of snow.

As expected, the lake effect band that was impacting the Buffalo/metro weakened throughout the early afternoon hours Wednesday, with some reorganization occurring in the late afternoon. Reports of several rounds of thundersnow (falling snow accompanied by thunder and or lightning) came from several locations in the Buffalo Northtowns, including North Buffalo, and Tonawanda, which is where the heaviest part of the band was impacting.

The lake band had, once again, became disorganized overnight and is far less than impressive. However, things will change once again. We are expecting the band to reorganize again today, this time, with better structure, and sagging further southward, before falling apart early Friday morning.

In terms to snow totals, we still think the highest accumulation overall will be along higher terrain; mainly centered from the Buffalo Southtowns, to the Boston Hills, to the Chautauqua Ridge, to extreme northwestern Cattaraugus County. Here, up to 18 inches of fresh lake effect could pile up. Totals will drop as you continue to go southward, as you start getting away from the better dynamics from the winds. A good foot or so is possible in central Chautauqua County, and along the northern communities of Chautauqua Lake. Accumulation really drop off as you get closer to the state line; 2 to 4 inches in southern Chautauqua County. Plowable for some, not quite a shoveler for others.

As always, these are estimated totals; your actual observed total could vary, depending on the placement of the heaviest lake effect snow bands, and the overall localized nature of lake effect in itself.