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'Winter surges into the region' this week, weather service says

Winter doesn't officially begin until next week, but extreme cold temperatures are expected in Buffalo later this week.

An Arctic front will be drawn southward across the Buffalo Niagara region Thursday, helping to pull down polar air into the area, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

By Friday morning, temperatures are forecast to be in the single digits with wind chills approaching minus-10 degrees.

"There will be several impactful weather phenomena to highlight ... as winter surges into the region behind a series of cold fronts that bring the coldest air of the winter season to our region," according to the forecast. "These impacts include: strong gusty winds, the coldest air of the season, significant lake snows, and frigid wind chills."

The drastic turn to cold starts overnight Tuesday and deepens as the week wears on, forecasts show. The mercury is expected to drop into the high teens.

Wednesday's high is forecast to only make it into the mid-20s before dropping down to about 12 degrees overnight.

Snow showers are expected with west winds gusting above 40 mph, dropping wind chills into the single digits during the day.

Wednesday's forecast shows heavy snow possible across areas south of Buffalo. (National Weather Service)

Wednesday's forecast shows heavy snow possible across areas south of Buffalo. (National Weather Service)

Then, heavy snow is possible Thursday.

The daytime high temperature is forecast to be 16 degrees. That's about 20 degrees colder than average for the date.

Heavy snow is in the forecast Thursday night as the thermometer drops to the lowest levels since last February. An overnight low of 5 degrees is expected with breezy conditions that will drop the wind chill below zero.

Friday and Friday night, temperatures probably won't make it out of the teens.

Winter officially begins in Buffalo at 5:44 a.m. Dec. 21.

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