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A wintry shock is forecast for this week.

Temperatures are forecast to drop from highs in the mid-40s today into the single digits by Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Stiff winds are riding in with that Arctic cold, so wind chills could be double-digit below zero by Thursday morning, according to the weather service.

The winds will pick up this afternoon, with gusts out of the northwest from 20 to 40 mph, said Katie Gross, a Valley, Nebraska-based meteorologist with the weather service. The forecast calls for a 30% chance of snow Wednesday afternoon and a 20% chance tonight.

The winds should die down by Thursday afternoon, Gross said, but the day’s high probably will top out around 15. The low Thursday night is expected to be about 7 degrees.

The good news is that the Arctic express will be short-lived. By Friday, highs are forecast to be back in the 30s.

Highs Saturday are expected to be in the low 40s. Sunday’s highs could be in the mid- to upper 40s, Gross said.

The upcoming forecast according to the weather service includes:

Today: A 30% chance of rain after 1 p.m. Increasing clouds, with a high near 42. South wind 11 to 14 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Tonight: A chance of rain and snow before 7 p.m., then a slight chance of snow between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 1. Wind chill values as low as -14. Blustery, with a north wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 14. North northwest wind 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

Thursday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 7.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 32. Breezy.

Friday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Breezy.

Saturday: A slight chance of snow, mixing with rain after noon, then gradually ending. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41.

Saturday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 27.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 46.

Sunday night: A slight chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 32.

Washington’s Birthday: A slight chance of rain and snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 46.

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