Dreams of a white Christmas are melting away.
Warm, rainy weather is expected to roll through the area this weekend with a record high temperature of 63 predicted for Sunday.
WNEP-TV meteorologist Tom Clark said rain is expected to arrive in the area this evening. He described the chances of rain as “light and spotty” through Saturday, and more rain is expected on Sunday. Clark did not anticipate any flooding, even with melting snow factored in.
Mitch Gilt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said most of the heavier rainfall should stay to the north of the area. He also said that the chances of flooding were “very minimal.”
According to the National Weather Service Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center, Luzerne County is expected to get about an inch of rainfall this weekend.
Forecasts for this weekend call for temperatures to climb to the mid 40s today and near 50 Saturday. They will soar even higher to the mid 60s on Sunday. Clark expects to see 63 degrees.
“We’re going to break the record on Sunday,” he said. The record was set in 1990 with a high of 59.
A warm-up during this time of the year is not unheard of, according to Gilt.
The milder weather becomes possible when the jet stream moves north. When that happens, Gilt said, warm air is then able to filter into the area.
Clark also said that, while rare, drastic warm-ups during the winter months are possible. He said records have shown temperatures in the 70s in the past.
The rain is expected to taper off by Sunday evening. As the cold front moves through the area, Gilt said, a high pressure system will move in and bring cooler temperatures. Forecasts currently predict highs in the mid 40s for Monday with a chance of rain and snow.
While forecasts don’t currently give a forecast for Christmas Eve and Christmas, Gilt said a dusting of snow is possible after the weekend’s rain. He did not expect any significant accumulation.
So what are the chances of a white Christmas?
“I really think there’s going to be a minimal chance at this point,” Gilt said.
Clark said the best chance of a white Christmas depended on how much of the snow on the ground now would remain after the weekend’s rain and high temperatures.