The overall weather pattern will favor above normal average temperatures averaging across much of the central and eastern United States through at least Christmas. That's the latest Accuweather prediction.
The warmth will falter at times though, says AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams. Even so, a white Christmas, snowball fights and snow angel-making may be chancy.
"There's a universal yearning for cold and snow around Christmastime, especially in the Midwest and Northeast," acknowledges Abrams. But so far this season, mild air has overwhelmed the central and eastern states. Temperatures have averaged several degrees above normal since October.
That's expected to hold into the first part of the new year, says the meteorologist. That doesn't mean, though, there won't be enough chill in the air for one or more snowfall episodes across the Great Lakes and northern New England.
Longer range look
AccuWeather's Chief Long Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok expects several doses of chilly air to sweep across northern parts of the central states and the Northeast from mid-December to beyond Christmas. "The problem will be for storms to catch up with the brief episodes of chilly air in absence of persistent and extensive cold conditions," he adds.
A secondary storm track along the coastal Northeast could come into play for parts of northern New England and upstate New York. At assumes they're strong enough to draw in cold air. Cities such as Chicago; Minneapolis; Kansas City; Albany, N.Y.; and Caribou, Maine may be cold enough for a white Christmas, provided a storm is in the vicinity.
Most of the Mid-Atlantic, southeastern New England and New York City are looking at air too warm too often to support snow through Christmas. More persistent winter weather is still many weeks away.
"We expect some colder air masses and perhaps opportunities for snow to pick up toward the middle of January," concludes Pastelok.