Significant snow has arrived in Western New York.
Several inches have already accumulated in parts of the Southern Tier and more is expected today. A Winter Storm Warning for the southern snow belt regions remains in effect until 10 o'clock tonight. As many as ten inches are possible. Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather service indicated that this snow has come about a week earlier than usual. He also mentioned that this is not necessarily a percursor to a long, cold winter.
"There is an El Nino developing in the Pacific. It really depends on how strong that el Nino becomes. If it remains weak, that could still open the door to plenty of cold and snow. It if becomes a little stronger, then there's a higher likelihood that we'll have a warmer than normal winter. Right now, the official Weather Service outlook for the winter has a little better odds for a warmer than normal winter."
Snow will continue to be a part of the forecast for much of next week. The current system will pass by late tonight, but another one is expected to arrive Monday night bringing more snow and mixed precipitation.