The coldest conditions are behind us, but a major winter storm will move into the area with heavy snow spreading into the region from south to north this evening and continuing through Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Winter storm warnings begin tonight across the region.

The snow may briefly mix with some sleet tonight. The heavy snow will taper off from west to east later Monday afternoon and evening, but winds will increase during this time with a period of significant blowing and drifting snow, the Weather Service said in a forecast discussion this afternoon.

A brief mix with sleet tonight is expected for a few hours. Across Western New York, the mix with sleet will be brief enough to not significantly affect snow amounts, though it will hold down snow amounts in Central New York to some extent, the forecast discussion said.

The heaviest snowfall rates will be overnight tonight through early Monday morning, with 2 to 3 inches per hour snowfall rates likely, the forecast discussion said.

Monday snowfall rates will likely back off to 1 to 2 inches per hour, the Weather Service said.

Storm totals of 12 to 18 inches still look likely across much of Western New York, the forecast discussion said.

Some areas could exceed 20 inches of total snowfall, though there remains some uncertainty on where this will be. Current modeling suggests this may end up being over the west end of Lake Ontario. The most likely areas to exceed 18 inches in Western New York will be the Chautauqua Ridge and Boston Hills with lake enhancement and upslope late in the event, and also in Niagara County with some Lake Ontario enhancement, the forecast discussion said.

Farther east, expect 8 to 12 inches from roughly the Genesee Valley eastward across the eastern Lake Ontario region, the forecast discussion said.

Southeast winds this evening will become northeast overnight through Monday morning. Winds will be relatively light through the first phase of this storm, with the exception of the south shore of Lake Ontario where gusts may exceed 30 mph, according to the forecast discussion.

Winds will then become northwest Monday afternoon and rapidly increase, with gusts of 30 to 40 mph areawide and locally 45 mph or more close to the Lake Ontario shore. These gusts will peak Monday evening, and result in significant blowing and drifting snow as the widespread general snow is tapering off. Winds will start to diminish later Monday night, the Weather Service said.

Lake effect snow will develop southeast of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Monday night through Tuesday with some localized additional accumulations, the Weather Service said.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 7 tonight to 10 p.m. Monday for Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and southern Erie counties.

Total snow accumulations of 12 to 18 inches is expectex, with amounts near 20 inches for the Chautauqua Ridge and Boston Hills. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will produce significant blowing and drifting snow Monday afternoon and Monday night, the Weather Service said.

Widespread accumulating snow will create dangerous travel conditions, the Weather Service said.

Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could affect the morning or evening commute.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 7 tonight to 7 p.m. Monday for Livingston, Ontario and Allegany counties.

Total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will produce significant blowing and drifting snow late Monday afternoon and evening, the Weather Service said.

Travel will be very difficult with deep snow cover on roads and poor visibility. The hazardous conditions will affect the morning and evening commute Monday.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 9 tonight to 7 p.m. Monday for Genesee, Orleans, Niagara and northern Erie counties.

Total snow accumulations of 12 to 18 inches with isolated amounts of up to 20 inches. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will produce significant blowing and drifting snow Monday afternoon and evening, the Weather Service said.

Travel will be very difficult or even nearly impossible with deep snow cover on roads and very poor visibility. The hazardous conditions will affect the morning and evening commute Monday.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 9 tonight to 7 p.m. Monday for Monroe and Wayne counties.

Total snow accumulations of 8 to 14 inches. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will produce significant blowing and drifting snow Monday afternoon and evening, the Weather Service said.

Travel will be very difficult with deep snow cover on roads and poor visibility. The hazardous conditions will affect the morning and evening commute Monday.

A winter storm warning will be in effect from 5 p.m. this afternoon to 5 p.m. Monday for Steuben, Yates, Seneca, southern Cayuga and Schuyler counties.

Heavy mixed precipitation is expected. Total snow accumulations of 7 to 10 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze. Snow accumulations may reach as high as 12 inches in Steuben and Yates Counties. Winds may gust as high as 35 mph, the Weather Service said.

Snowfall rates tonight could reach up to 1 inch per hour at times, the Weather Service said.

Travel could be very difficult. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility Monday afternoon. The hazardous conditions could affect the morning or evening commutes.

If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

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