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Heat-stifling cold front to arrive in East late week; first snowflakes may follow

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Following record warmth this week, temperatures are expected to take a dive over the weekend behind a cold front. For some, the air may be cold enough to deliver the first snowflakes of the season.

"Dramatic changes in the weather will occur across the eastern U.S. through the end of October," AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex Sosnowksi said.

Those changes will include the threat for soaking rain in the Northeast and the potential for a few snowflakes to fall across the Great Lakes and northern New England late this weekend into early next week.

A ridge of high pressure responsible for record warmth early this week will be pushed out of the way by a cold front.

"A heat-stifling cold front looks to move through the Great Lakes Thursday and into the Northeast Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ed Vallee said.

An area of low pressure may develop along the front and could help send a surge of Atlantic moisture into the Northeast which would fuel a soaking rain and widespread clouds.

Thursday and Friday will present the best chance for rain and some of it may linger into Saturday. However, the exact timing and placement of the rain still remains in question.

The rain would largely be welcomed in New England where drought conditions continue to run rampant. Rainfall amounts since the beginning of the year are 15 inches below normal in some areas.

However, the rain would also cause problems across the region.

"In those areas there could be a tough travel day due to poor visibility and excessive water on the roads and low cloud ceilings at area airports," Sosnowski said.

Those with plans for the end of the week and weekend will want to keep checking back for updates on the forecast.

The strength of this storm system will influence how much cold air is pulled out of Canada and into the Great Lakes and Northeast. At the very least, temperatures will return back to normal over the weekend. However, a second shot of colder air may arrive early next week and could push daytime temperatures 5 to 10 F below-normal.

This would also result in nights that fall near or below freezing across the region.

"Behind this cold front, there are some indications that a few snowflakes will be possible," Vallee said.

Folks in the Great Lakes region and northern New York will have the greatest chance.

This chilly air would be a stark contrast from the record highs expected early this week. This roller-coaster-type pattern is not uncommon for October and will only continue as the calendar turns towards winter.

"Overall, temperatures look to remain above normal despite periodic cooler days," Vallee said. "We continue to monitor a variety of long-range information that points to perhaps a more significant cool-down by the middle of November."