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65 mph wind gusts 'will likely bring down some trees and power lines'

Flipping the calendar to April in search of spring has been fool's gold so far.

By Wednesday, it'll be windy and white, the National Weather Service forecasts.

An approaching storm system will first bring a wet warmup to the Buffalo Niagara region Tuesday, then a cold front is forecast to sweep through early Wednesday morning.

Forecasters expect dangerously high wind gusts, flooding along the Lake Erie shoreline, plummeting temperatures and precipitation that will transition from rain to snow.

Snow showers remain in the forecast Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with temperatures far below the normal high of 50 degrees.

Here's what the National Weather Service says to expect:

Today

Afternoon rain associated with a passing warm front is expected with high temperatures in the upper 40s.

There's a 100 percent chance for rain.

Forecasters said rainfall totals of up to one-quarter inch are possible.

The center of the storm system is forecast to pass right over the Buffalo Niagara region early Wednesday morning, forecasts show. (National Weather Service)

Tonight

More rain, with a chance for thunderstorms.

Temperatures are forecast to actually increase into the low to mid 50s after midnight before starting to drop precipitously after about 3 a.m., forecasts show.

Southeast winds are forecast to become southwesterly and could gust over 30 mph, forecasts show.

"Instability within the warm sector ahead of the cold front increases enough for the potential for a few elevated thunderstorms with the frontal passage," the weather service said.

Up to another one-half inch of rainfall is possible overnight, the weather service said.

Wednesday

Morning rain showers could transition to snow by Wednesday afternoon.

Only minor accumulations are possible.

It will be very windy, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service posted a high wind warning for Erie County along with Genesee, Wyoming and Chautauqua counties from 3 a.m. to 8 p.m. For Niagara and Orleans counties, the warning runs through 11 p.m.

Westerly winds could gust up to 65 mph, forecasters said.

The highest wind gusts associated with the storm system will be concentrated across Western New York, forecasts show. (NWS Eastern Region)

"Strong to damaging winds are expected and will likely bring down some trees and power lines, resulting in scattered power outages," the weather service said. "Travel will also become hazardous for high profile vehicles."

The weather service also posted a lakeshore flood warning for the shoreline of Lake Erie in Erie and Chautauqua counties.

"The strong southwest winds will push the Lake Erie waters into the east end of the lake, causing a storm surge," the weather service said.

Forecasters expect the water level to swell by 8 feet or more over its low-water point between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m.

"Minor lakeshore flooding is expected along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the Buffalo Harbor and waterfront," the weather service said. "Ice still in the eastern basin of Lake Erie may get pushed onto shoreline areas and possibly over the ice boom into the upper Niagara River, resulting in damage along the upper Niagara River shoreline."

The high temperature is forecast to peak at 40 degrees, but will be dropping through the 30s all day, forecasts show.

Wednesday night

There's a 30 percent chance for snow showers in the late evening, with only minor accumulations, forecasts show.

Otherwise, the weather service said it'll remain breezy with west winds as high as 25 mph and overnight lows in the mid 20s.

That will make it feel like it's in the teens.

Beyond

There's 20 percent chance for snow showers on Thursday with highs in the mid 30s.

Friday brings a 60 percent chance for snow showers with highs in the mid 30s, forecasters said.

Snowfall accumulations should stay below 1 inch, the weather service said.

There's been measurable snow in Buffalo during April every year since 2011, including 2.3 inches last year.

The city averages about 2.7 inches of April snowfall each year.

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