MALONE — Weather forecasts say back-to-back snowstorms of varying intensity will blanket the region with pre-Christmas snow.
Warmer weather is expected to creep in for a day before Santa brings some chilly air with him on Christmas Eve, but the temperature should rise some again on Christmas Day.
The first snowstorm comes in Friday afternoon, and a second, stronger one with the possibility of significant sleet and ice, is expected Saturday and Sunday, according to John Goff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington.
“There will be some incidents in your area, starting with light-to-moderate snowfall Friday and Friday night,” he said. “It could be 2 to 4 or 5 inches of snow — nothing you can’t handle.”
The snow should turn to light flurries and could stop briefly before recharging for a nastier storm on Saturday afternoon and into Sunday, Goff said.
“There will be a significant amount of snow, depending on where you are and how the storm tracks. There can be sleet, freezing rain and maybe some rain.
“It could be a significant ice accumulation, so people who are traveling need to be aware of that,” he said. “Other than that, it’s a winter mix that can cause travelers some headaches.”
‘KEEP EYE ON FORECASTS’
The meteorologist advised those planning out-of-town trips to check local media reports and the National Weather Service website at www.weather.gov for updates and status changes.
The weather is expected to clear up and temperatures start climbing Monday, with highs reaching the 20s and possibly the low 30s.
“The air will be warmer and dry so it will be more seasonable,” Goff said, but the cold returns for Christmas Eve before rebounding Christmas Day.
“You might have some dirty snow because of the melt you’ll see from the warmer temperatures, but there is a real good chance you will still have a white Christmas.”
The National Weather Service is calling for sunny skies and cold temperatures with a high near 7 and a low around zero on Christmas Eve and a mostly cloudy but warmer Christmas Day with a high near 24.
The 2014 edition of the Old Farmer’s Almanac also predicts a storm front for the time period. It states the weather will be sunny and very cold starting Friday followed by rain, snow and snow flurries right through to the end of the year.
Dave Werner, an observer in Malone for the National Weather Service, has tracked temperatures and how much snow is on the ground Christmas morning for the past 31 years.
He said the highest temperature on a Christmas Day was 61 degrees in 1982 and the lowest was 16 below zero in 1983.
There was 6 inches of snow on the ground in 2012, 2 inches in 2011, 10 inches in 2010, 6 inches in 2009 and 4 inches in 2008.
“The least amount of snow we had in 31 years on Christmas Day was zero in 2006,” Werner said. “And the most we had was 18 inches in 1995.”
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