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Back to December; a few warm days, then cold and wintry

There are 24 days until Christmas, and 7 more days until it looks the part in Buffalo.

Forecasts show the weather will make an abrupt turn from seasonally mild to wintry and white about a week from today.

In the meantime, there's still a few days left to get the snow tires on the car, put up the holiday lights or clean out the garage.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the 40s today and through the weekend with partly to mostly sunny skies, the National Weather Service forecast shows.

Monday and Tuesday could even reach the low 50s before a cold front late Tuesday sweeps that warmth away.

Once it goes, it won't soon return, forecasters said.

The Climate Prediction Center expects that, besides the next few days, December as a whole in Buffalo will be colder than normal.

That would be the first time since 2013 that December's been colder than average.

Two years ago, the city recorded the warmest December on record.

The 42.1 degree average temperature was 12 degrees above normal. It featured a 71-degree day on Dec. 14 and a 66-degree Christmas Eve.

As for snowfall, chances start to pick up by the middle of next week and really increase by week's end.

"The first few days of the pattern change late next week will be routine cold, but after about Dec. 10, there are increasing signals...that several blasts of true Arctic air may be in play for the Great Lakes and Northeast," the weather service stated.

Although details remain sketchy for now, significant lake-effect snow is possible.

"The large-scale pattern suggests the possibility of numerous high-impact lake-effect snow events starting late next week or next weekend, and continuing through the middle of December," forecasters said.

As snowfall goes, sledding's been a little easier during December as of late.

Since 2008, no December has featured above-average snowfall, weather service data shows.


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