(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Wintertime arrives at 4:48 p.m. Wednesday, and Mother Nature will make sure we get a good taste of winter fury later this week.

A major winter storm will develop in the Midwest, then combine with another storm coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. The Midwest storm will provide the cold and wind, while the gulf storm will provide the moisture to give us a good hit of winter here in the Erie region.

The initial hit will be mainly rain Thursday and Thursday night (May begin as a little freezing mix in the mountains). Then a strong arctic front will pass through near daybreak Friday, plunging our temperatures from the 40s into the 20s by mid morning Friday.

The initial problem will be the quick freezing of the roadways with the drop in temperatures. The other issue Friday will be the potential snow bursts for the morning hours, with several inches of snow falling on the icy roads.

After a lull Friday afternoon, the lake effect machine will kick in for Friday night. Who gets hit is uncertain, though it looks like the lake shore areas could get a good deal of snow with the general SW to WSW direction.

This trend may continue into Saturday, with significant snow amounts possible mainly lake shore counties.

Wind direction is even more uncertain Saturday night into Christmas day, but more snow showers can be anticipated.

Temperatures will be the coldest we’ve seen so far this season, with single digits possible Friday and Saturday night.

Finally, wind gusts could hit 50-60 mph during the height of the storm Friday into early Saturday, causing plenty of blowing and drifting snow.

Keep up with the latest information by going to yourerie.com/weather or the YE2go app.