Feb. 3—Batten down the hatches and stock up on road salt.
A winter storm watch is being issued for late Friday afternoon through late Saturday night, according to David Thomas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga.
Nine inches or more of heavy lake-effect snow and gusty winds are anticipated, he said.
"That would include the City of Buffalo and out towards the airport, as well as areas further south," Thomas added.
While temperatures are expected to reach into the mid- to upper 30s on Thursday, they will be followed by a cold front that will develop earlier in the day Friday.
"Behind this cold front, we'll start to see this lake-effect developing," Thomas said.
Unlike the last lake-effect system that passed through the region on the day after Christmas, this one will be accompanied by strong winds as high as 40 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, according to Thomas.
"That will be producing not only blowing and drifting snow, but also reducing visibility to near white-out conditions. Travel will be very difficult during this event," he said.
Don't expect an immediate warmup after the lake-effect snow event is over, Thomas said.
"We're actually going to have a significant cool down," he added.
The cold is expected to linger.
"Temperatures will be in the mid- to upper 30s on Friday before the cold front crosses through. Thereafter, we're going into a deep freeze. We're looking at a prolonged period of time for below freezing temperatures starting on Sunday and continuing into the middle part of February," Thomas said.
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