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    First Lake-Effect Snow for Pennsylvania, New York

    By By Mark Miller, meteorologist
    November 18, 2011, 7:22:03 AM EST

    The first significant lake-effect snow of the season will be flying across parts of New York state and Pennsylvania today.

    Accumulations are forecast to be generally light, with the greatest amount over the higher elevations of northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York state. Slippery spots could develop on roadways in areas where it snows heavily for a short time.

    A band of snow will set up east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario with a coating to a slushy couple of inches of accumulation possible for the higher terrain of northern New York state, the southern tier of New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.


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    Areas closer to the shores of Lake Erie will have mainly rain, but wet snowflakes will mix in at times with little to no accumulation.

    Cold winds will blow from the northwest this afternoon, creating a favorable setup for lake-enhanced precipitation south of Buffalo, NY. Winds will swing around from the southwest tomorrow off Lake Erie, however the atmosphere will warm too fast for any lake-effect rain or snow in Buffalo.

    For areas east of Lake Ontario, lake-effect precipitation will again be elevation-dependent. The higher elevations will get more snow than rain with up to an inch of accumulation possible. Lower elevations near the shores will primarily just have rain.

    While most areas of western New York state have already had snowflakes this season, this will be the first opportunity for accumulating lake-effect snow. According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek, "Typically, the first accumulating lake-effect snow will occur in early to mid-November."

    Along with the bands of lake-effect snow there will also be snow showers and squalls scattered about the interior Northeast today. A few places could experience a burst of heavier snow that quickly whitens the ground.

    According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "It is not out of the question that a brief snow shower reaches the I-95 cities in the mid-Atlantic and New England."

    A quick shot of very cold air will dive into the Northeastern states today, creating an unstable setup suitable for brief snow showers and bands of lake-effect snow.

    In addition to scattered snow showers and squalls, it will feel quite chilly with gusty northwest winds, abundant cloud cover and below-average temperatures.

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