We're officially in 2022 and usually, January means cold weather and snowfall, especially here in Western New York.

After a rather mild December for Buffalo, we get back to reality when it comes to the winter weather, and the first big storm of the winter season is coming soon for Buffalo and Western New York.

The National Weather Service just issued a Winter Storm Watch for Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties from Wednesday evening through Tuesday evening. This includes the City of Buffalo and the northtowns.

How much snow could we get? Well, it could be a lot but exact totals are not yet known since it's Monday.

Get our free mobile app

Snowfall totals of at least 9 inches are possible, but it could be more, depending on the path and trend of the lake effect snow band that will hit Western New York.

Wednesday will start off mild -- around 40 degrees, but the cold front moves through that will drop temperatures and since Lake Erie is completely unfrozen, that means the lake effect snow machine will be geared up.

The winds will be a problem as well, with gusts up to 40 mph possible. That, along with the heavy snow, will make driving extremely difficult. Travel could be impossible at times due to very low visibility.

It appears as if Niagara County will be spared as the lake effect band looks to focus on the southtowns and the City of Buffalo, but the exact path of the band is not yet known.

The fact a Winter Storm Watch was issued more than two days out is usually bad news, and likely means this gets bumped up to a Winter Storm or Lake Effect Snow warning in the near future.

It's best to make preparations now and maybe working from home if possible on Thursday.

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.
 

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...