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First lake-effect snow of season pelts region

A fast-moving low-pressure system slam-dunked Western New York straight into winter Wednesday, dropping temperatures from record a high in the predawn hours to the freezing mark by mid-evening and giving Buffalo and its suburbs their first lake-effect snow of the season.

Motorists encountered near whiteout conditions on the Skyway and Grand Island bridges during the evening as rain turned to wind-driven snow.

The lake-effect snow, which extended east to Genesee and Wyoming counties, was expected to drift south and produce 3 to 6 inches overnight in the traditional Snowbelt areas, followed by another 3 to 6 inches today.

Temperatures, which at 4:47 a.m. tied the record high of 69 degrees set in 1955, plunged to 32 by 8 p.m., the first official freeze this fall at the National Weather Service office at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga. Today was expected to be windy, with a high temperature in the mid 30s.