This past Sunday gave Western New York a taste of winter weather with a handful of inches of snow, which was a rare occurrence in the month of December, which was milder than normal in 2021.

Monday was a quiet weather day, although it was cold as wind chills reached the single digits in Western New York. The past few weeks have featured no major winter storms in Buffalo, but that all changes in a big way by Wednesday evening and all day Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for Erie, Wyoming and Genesee counties from 7 pm on Wednesday to 7 pm on Thursday. This is due to a lake effect snow band that will settle over Buffalo and into the southtowns and produce heavy snow.

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At least 9 inches of snow was possible in the initial weather statement earlier on Monday, but as of Monday night, those snow totals were updated on the National Weather Service's winter weather page for Buffalo.

The snow accumulation map shows anywhere from 12-18 inches of snow are possible for much of the area around the Buffalo metro, and even a small portion (colored in red) just below the Buffalo metro could see 18-24 inches of snow...

The band of lake effect looks to stretch far inland, into areas near Batavia and even towards Rochester, which is why Wyoming and Genesee counties are part of the Winter Storm Watch at the moment.

The snow totals drop off dramatically once you get to the southern tier and much of Niagara County looks to be spared from the winter storm. ]

The winds will be another thing to watch for, as gusts could be 30-40 mph. That means driving will be nearly impossible in the heart of the lake effect band.

Whenever you get these kinds of forecasts, it's best to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

One thing that's guaranteed is Buffalo and areas near will get hit with heavy lake effect snow. Exactly how much and how far the band of lake effect snow moves though? We shall see.

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