Keep the heavy coats, mittens, caps and scarves handy, because a cold front is expected to hit the Tucson area beginning Thursday night.

A hard overnight freeze is expected this weekend.

Strong, gusty winds and a chance of rain in the valley and snow on the mountains are predicted by Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Up to 4 inches of snow is expected in the mountains, with the snow level dropping to around 3,000 feet.

Friday's high in Tucson is expected to be in the mid-40s to near 50. Saturday's high is expected to be only in the mid-40s.

Overnight lows will drop into the 20s.

The cold snap will affect Southern Arizona and is expected to remain into early next week, the weather service predicts. Highs are forecast for the low 50s on Monday and Tuesday in Tucson.

A hard freeze is predicted in the low deserts overnight into Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday mornings.