NEW YORK — Upstate New York prepared for heavy lake-effect snow Wednesday that could dump as much as a foot of powder, while New York City saw highs slightly above average before a major cool down is set to drop temperatures.
A winter storm watch is in effect for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Southern Erie and Wyoming counties through Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Up to 12 inches of snow is expected, with the greatest accumulation taking place along the Chautauqua Ridge. The potentially hazardous weather will also include 40 mph wind gusts causing reduced visibility as the snow will be blown around.
Farther south, NYC saw a high of 44 degrees Wednesday, about 10 degrees above average for this time of year.
The "warm" weather won't last for long, however.
Highs will drop to a seasonable 36 degrees Thursday, and by Friday, the area will feel 40 to 45 degrees colder than it did Wednesday when factoring in the winds. Jersey City, for instance, reached 44 degrees Wednesday, but will feel like it's only 3 degrees Friday morning. Those in Tarrytown, New York will go from a cool 41 degrees, to feeling like it's a freezing negative 1 degree.
For the weekend, we continue to watch the potential of a coastal storm that could affect Sunday. Right now, the forecast models indicate that storm will track well south, allowing NYC to miss the brunt of the storm. While this forecast is relatively consistent between the main models, this may continue to change as we approach the latter half of the week.