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Short-lived warmup to give way to windy Friday, chance for snowy Saturday

When temperatures reach into the 60s across the Buffalo Niagara region in mid-March, you can usually plan on a cold front to swiftly return the weather back to reality.

Expect that to be the case again this week.

Unseasonably warm temperatures are expected over the next two days.

The mercury could flirt with 50 degrees today. Then, temperatures are forecast to push into the low to mid-60s on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Cloudy skies and chances for rain are in the forecast both days. Scattered sprinkles are possible today. Better chances for rain come later Thursday, forecasts show.

The drastic warmup will be generated by warm southerly air being drawn northward ahead of the massive storm system that's whipping the Great Plains with high winds and blizzard conditions.

Although Western New York will be spared the worst of the wintry weather associated with the system, it won't escape all of its impacts as the storm tracks toward the upper Plains, through the western Great Lakes and northeastward into Quebec over the next few days.

By Thursday night, chances for showers and possibly a thunderstorm increase and winds will pick up overnight as the center of the storm system crosses into the Great Lakes. Up to one-quarter inch of rain is possible, forecasters said.

Temperatures will drop Friday with the passage of a strong cold front attached to the system. Chances for showers remain in the forecast. Highs in the mid-40s are expected.

"It will also become quite windy behind the cold front, especially in the typical areas northeast of Lake Erie," the weather service said. "Wind gusts will likely exceed 45 mph."

It will be the latest in a string of windstorms to affect the Buffalo Niagara region this year.

With Sunday's wind gusts, Buffalo logged its sixth day of gusts at or above 50 mph since the New Year. That's more days than all of 2018.

Buffalo is the Windy City so far this year

Breezy conditions are expected to persist overnight Friday.

Forecasters said rain showers will transition to show showers overnight as temperatures return to below freezing.

The weekend will be another cold one with below-normal temperatures.

Forecasters said snow showers are likely Saturday with highs in the mid- to upper 30s.

Partly sunny skies are expected Sunday with highs in the mid-30s.

Buffalo's average high temperatures for this week of March range from 40 to 42 degrees.

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