Welcome to this week’s snowstorm, sort of like last week’s and the week before that one.
So far in March, more than a foot of snow has fallen in Buffalo.
Up to 8 inches more is possible in metro Buffalo by Thursday morning with as much as 14 more inches in higher elevations south of the city, according to the National Weather Service.
Buffalo needs just 3.9 inches more to push the city over 100 inches total for this winter season. It would be the first time Buffalo made that mark in three years.
Here’s what the weather service says to expect over the next 36 hours:
A winter weather advisory goes into effect at 6 p.m. for the Buffalo metro area. At the same time, a winter storm warning will go into effect for the far Southtowns and the Southern Tier. They both run through 2 a.m. Thursday.
Snowfall will start to ramp up in the evening hours throughout the Buffalo Niagara region.
“A synoptic set-up similar to that of last week will be in place…as another closed low will support a prolonged period of light-to-moderate accumulating snow,” the weather service said.
Chances for snow is 100 percent, forecasters said.
There may be a burst of snow in the early evening hours, said meteorologist Jim Mitchell, but the heaviest snow will fall overnight and into the morning.
The snow won’t pile up all at once. It will be a gradual process.
But, up to 8 inches is possible around metro Buffalo by Thursday morning.
“It should be noted that these accumulations are over a 36-hour period, with hourly snowfall rates manageable through the event,” the weather service said.
Buffalo is no stranger to big snowstorms in March
Snow is expected to continue in Buffalo during the day on Wednesday and temperatures will stay below normal — in the low 30s.
Forecasters call for a 100 percent chance for snow, and the early morning commute could be tricky with a couple inches of snow possible by 8 a.m.
Because the sun’s higher in the sky by mid-March, roads should stay in better conditions from the late morning through late afternoon, forecasters said.
The worst travel will occur from the evening hours through mid-morning “when pavement temperatures are lowest,” the weather service said.
For metro Buffalo, northern Erie County as well as Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties, forecasters said to expect snow and blowing snow with the highest accumulations east of Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
“Plan on difficult travel conditions at times with snow-covered roads and reduced visibility,” the weather service said. “Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will cause areas of blowing and drifting snow, mainly in open areas.”
Snow showers are forecast to continue into Wednesday night across the region.
In southern Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, the weather service said to expect even more snow than the Niagara Frontier.
In those spots, there will be similar conditions with 8 to 14 inches possible in higher elevations by early Thursday.
Accumulations will range from 5 to 8 inches in lower elevations, forecasters said.
Looking toward the weekend and beyond
There is good news for anyone heading to the weekend St. Patrick’s Day parades.
The luck o’ the Irish is with Buffalo.
“Warm (air) will spread into our region and bring temperatures back close to average,” the weather service said.
It’ll be mostly sunny and near 35 degrees for the Old Neighborhood Parade on Saturday.
The forecast calls for slightly warmer temperatures, sunshine and highs around 40 on Sunday.
Then, “a back-door cold front” is expected to cross the region again late Sunday, bringing chilly temperatures back by early next week.
“Looking a little farther ahead, there is no sign of any sustained early spring weather over the next few weeks, with cold winning out most of the time,” the weather service said.
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