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Arctic cold front due to arrive late Thursday in Buffalo Niagara

Forecasters expect a strong Arctic cold front to deliver a shot of mid-winter-like cold late Thursday in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The good news? It's a dry air mass rushing in from the northwest.

That means the chances for lake-effect snow will be minimal. Also, the cold temperatures won't last long, forecasters said.

"Usually, we don't get this cold this early," said Jim Mitchell, meteorologist at the National Weather Service. "But, it's not unprecedented."

Still, Friday's temperatures are forecast to flirt with record lows — for both the daytime and the overnight.

Friday's forecast high of 27 degrees would eclipse a 140-year-old record for the lowest high temperature for the date in Buffalo. It was 30 degrees on Nov. 10, 1877.

Temperatures are forecast to dip to 19 degrees overnight. That would tie a low temperature record set in 1991.

The coldest air of the season is forecast at the end of this week. (National Weather Service)

When the temperatures drop below freezing, it will also be the first time that's happened in Buffalo since April 8.

This is the third latest first freeze in Buffalo since records started at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in 1943 and the latest to start the season since Nov. 16, 2005.

On average, the first freeze comes to Buffalo on Oct. 19, weather data shows.

Besides frigid temperatures, there could be a little snow sprinkled in later this week, too.

"We may get a light coating," Mitchell said. "That would be a general deal associated with the front."

Buffalo logged its first measurable snow of the season on Halloween, 0.1 inch. That's the only snow recorded in Buffalo to date.

South of the metro area, the northwesterly flow could result in more lake-effect and lake-enhanced snow in the higher terrains of the western Southern Tier.

The air, which wound around Greenland Monday, was expected to rush south around a center of low pressure near Hudson Bay.

Ahead of the front's arrival late Thursday, a southwesterly flow will warm things up into the upper 40s with gusty winds before the front passes and the bottom drops out.

Temperatures overnight are forecast to plunge into the low 20s. After a below-freezing Friday and upper teens Friday night, temperatures rebound back to the 30s Saturday and even warmer for the end of the weekend and start of next week, forecasts show.

"We'll bounce back up toward average," Mitchell said.

Kickoff temperatures for Sunday's 1 p.m. game between the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints at New Era Field are forecast to be in the mid-40s with about a 30 percent chance of rain.


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