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Winter expected to be cold and wet, with more snow

December 21, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY

erinc@herald-mail.com

This might be the winter to invest in a new snow shovel or think about buying a snow blower, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Jon Mabry.

The combination of below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation should mean a significant increase in snowfall, he said.

The first few days of winter, which begins today, might be deceiving, he said.

Moderate temperatures are expected through Christmas Day, Mabry said. The 40-degree days that are expected "will feel very nice with all these cold days we've had," he said.

December has seemed more like January, he said, with temperatures about 10 degrees below normal for this time of the year.

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"That's pretty chilly," he said.

Washington County residents will see moderate temperatures for only a few days before they drop again. Temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s and 30s by New Year's Day.

"The forecast for the winter will be colder than normal and there will be more precipitation," Mabry said. "So, you should look for more snow."

Autumn this year set the stage for the below-average temperatures expected throughout the winter.

Because autumn was unusually cold at the beginning and unusually cold at the end, Mabry said those numbers evened out, and this year's autumn was considered a "normal one."

Precipitation was slightly above average, he said.

The first snowfall this year was Dec. 1, when only a trace amount was measured. The first sizable amount came Dec. 4, when 1.3 inches fell, Mabry said.

The month's total is about 2 inches, which surpasses last year's total for December, when only a trace amount of snow fell Dec. 12.

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