A week long cold spell not expected to break freezing is predicted after what forecasters said would be an ideal white Christmas.
Showers will begin to taper off later tonight, though with temperatures dropping below freezing there is the potential for a refreeze overnight. A developing area of low pressure is sliding northeast along the coastal plain of the eastern United States this afternoon and evening.
The area of low pressure deepens over the Gulf of ME as it heads northeast, bringing a very strong southwest, then west wind behind it. One final burst of snow is possible later this morning into early afternoon as some colder air rushed in from the north.
Temperatures are expected to reach 27 degrees by mid-morning and peak in the mid- to upper- 30s.
Rain will transition to snow at some point tonight, but how much snow will be on the ground by gift opening time is less certain.
According to the National Weather Service we need 1 inch of snow on Christmas morning.
Together with the snow, today is looking to be a nice Christmas day, he said. We're not expecting more than an inch in the Bluegrass.
S&S Stormchasers holds out hope for light snow across south-central PA as Santa does his work. Even still, amounts will likely be around a half inch at best or a little more.
The new snow along with strong wind has raised the avalanche danger in some locations in the backcountry.
Last Christmas was Billings' third-snowiest in more than 80 years, with 1.9 inches of snow falling at the airport that day.
The cold will be king after Christmas, possibly right through the New Year. An area along Interstate 80 could see up to 6 inches of snow accumulation and 50 miles per hour winds, causing whiteout conditions.