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A blast of warmth, but a chance of snow Halloween night

Get ready for a ride on the roller coaster that is fall weather in Western New York. A warm front ahead of a storm system will bring southwesterly winds across the area today, ushering in much warmer air and possibly a record high temperature, said meteorologist Shawn Smith of the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

But that warmth will be short-lived, Smith cautioned, with temperatures cooling back down into the 40s tonight. And daytime highs and nighttime lows will get colder as the week progresses.

“Storm systems are what causes that roller-coaster effect because ahead of the storm system, you always have warm air and behind it the colder air comes in,” he said.

The record high temperature for today’s date in Buffalo is 74, set back in 1946, so there is a decent chance the record could be matched or broken.

“We’re at least forecasting a tie and the big factor there will be how much cloud cover is around in the morning and early afternoon ahead of this cold front,” Smith said.

There’s also a chance today for rain or even thunderstorms packing gusty winds, particularly after 4 p.m., he said. There’s a gradual decline from there thanks to a cold front trailing the storm system.

“We’ll definitely see the effects start to come in on Wednesday when temperatures are only going to be into the low 50s,” Smith said.

Thursday’s high may only reach the upper 40s; Friday’s the mid-40s.

Halloween night could get downright tricky, with the potential for the first flakes of snow for the season. Real flakes, not the graupel – snow pellets – recorded earlier this month outside the weather service’s office at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

“By the time you get to Halloween night, expect temperatures probably to fall below freezing,” Smith said. “We’re also looking at the possibility of our first accumulating snowfall.”

And the cold weather is expected to remain through the weekend, Smith said. We may not even get out of the 30s on Saturday.

That’s just how things roll here in Buffalo.

“Any time you get a strong storm system to come in you can expect some wild swings in temperature, especially in the fall,” he said. “You don’t feel it as much in the summer because the cold air isn’t that cold.”

email: jpopiolkowski@buffnews.com and jhabuda@buffnews.com