Weekend winter blast to impact WNY

Winter Storm Warnings for all of WNY
Posted at 2:45 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 05:06:22-05

WINTER STORM WARNING for all of WNY 10am Saturday through 6pm Sunday. The warning will start at 1pm for Orleans and Genesee Counties.

Some of you are ready for a winter blast, I know, we've heard from you! Others tend to like the non-harsh, not so much snow winter we've had so far. Looking at the numbers we're in a bit of a deficit in terms of snowfall for the season.

As of January 15th, 2019:
Actual Season Snowfall: 32.1"
Average Season Snowfall: 49.3"

That's a deficit of -17.2"

December and January (so far) has nearly half of the snow we typically see. But, looking at models for this weekend, we might be making up for January's deficit during this next storm.

A pacific storm system takes aim across the center of the country and the Mississippi Valley before impacting WNY this weekend. This is the winter storm to watch for our area because of the size and impact it can have on everyone. Travel will be impacted not only with driving across WNY but with flights from Chicago to Boston.

There are several factors to keep in mind as this winter blast takes aim across the northeast. The track, the cold, the wind and the moisture, anyone of these factors can aid in the development of more significant snow or less snow. For WNY we also have the enhancement of the lakes, especially lake Ontario. If it's colder, we could have less moisture content associated with the snow and that would cause higher amounts (fluffier snow). If the track moves south, it would be less snow for WNY, if it moves north, obviously we would see more snow. As winds increase, snow and blowing snow could cause very difficult travel across the entire region.

As of right snow we can expect this winter storm to begin to impact WNY late Saturday morning with minor accumulations, Light snow showers switch to more moderate into the evening and turn heavy overnight with blowing snow. Snow rates may reach between 1-2" per hour. Sunday the deeper cold sets in with temperatures in the single digits into the afternoon. Snow tapers off but lake effect snow takes over with blowing snow with highest winds developing into Sunday afternoon. Wind chills fall to -15 to -25 degrees. Bitter wind chills remain well below zero through Monday.

SATURDAY: Snow starts light in the morning becoming more moderate into the afternoon. By evening 2-4" blanket WNY.
SATURDAY EVENING and NIGHT: Heaviest snow arrives with additional accumulations of 4-10" of snow tapering off Sunday morning.
SUNDAY: Widespread snow diminishes with gusty winds, blowing snow and low visibility at times with wind chills well below zero. Expect varying sky conditions with lake effect snow taking shape.
MONDAY: Cold continues with wind chills -15F to -25F with lake effect snow diminishing.

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