The unofficial start to the winter season is December through February although the calendar indicates winter doesn't officially begin until a few days before Christmas. Weather records show the coldest three-month period of the year begins in early December and ends around the beginning of March and that is what most winter forecasts take into account. The Climate Prediction Center recently released the forecast for December to February and much of the Southeast was predicted to have near normal temperature and precipitation. Even if the prediction comes true we'll see some days well below normal while others will be quite warm. Keep in mind that it is only a forecast and ultimately we could see colder or warmer than normal conditions as unforeseen factors may come into play. Even a seasonable winter can bring a snow or two. Eastern Carolina averages 4 to 5 inches of snowfall annually across the coastal plain while the immediate coast sees an inch or two.
The first week of December will be quite warm across our area and will feel more like spring than winter. Temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s until the weekend when a cold front will deliver cooler air to the region. I would expect more seasonable weather to dominate the weather pattern by the middle to latter portion of next week.
Could we see a White Christmas? It isn't very likely since Eastern Carolina has only seen one widespread White Christmas in the last 100 years and that was in 1989. We just missed a Christmas snow in 2010 when heavy snow fell in most locations on December 26. I'll take another look at our chances as we get closer to Christmas.
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