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Wild weather forecast for Christmas Eve and Day

Flooding, high winds and thunderstorms, oh my!

That, in a nutshell, is the Christmas Eve forecast of the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

A lakeshore flood warning for coastal areas of Erie and Chautauqua counties will be in effect from 10 p.m. Wednesday until 1 p.m. Thursday, as strong southwest winds push the waters of Lake Erie to the northeast. Water may wash across Route 5 in Athol Springs, according to the weather service.

The high wind warning, which will be in effect from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. Thursday, applies to a broader area that also includes Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Monroe counties.

Wednesday, the New York State Thruway Authority announced it’s restricting empty tractor trailers between Exit 44/Canandaigua-Victor and 61/Ripley, including the Niagara Thruway, during the warning period.

Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution and adjust for conditions while traveling through the warning area along the Thruway.

Southwest winds, gusting at up to 65 miles per hour, will usher in a strong cold front, which may produce a squall line of showers and possibly thunderstorms. The winds also carry the threat of downed trees and power lines, and damage to unsecured holiday decorations.