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WNY PREPARING FOR BRUSH WITH WINTER

Winter, which officially began last week, is forecast to begin in earnest overnight.

About five to seven inches of snow -- accompanied by wind gusts as high as 35 mph -- are expected tonight and early Tuesday from a low-pressure system that already brought snow to the hills of Georgia and Tennessee.

Then, a separate round of lake-effect snow could leave additional accumulations later Tuesday.

Heavier snow may hit areas east and south of Buffalo.

"It's going to be wintry," said Ed Reich, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing through at least Thursday, with a high Tuesday in the upper 20s.

The high Wednesday is expected to be only about 20 degrees and could approach 30 on New Year's Day.

Lows Wednesday will be in the teens.

And it could be worse. The brunt of the low pressure system is expected to hit east of Buffalo. But if it changes directions, there will be more snow than now forecast.

Reich also warns that the snow will be wet and heavy and cautions shovelers against overexertion.

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