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In your dreams

Weather experts indicate a white Christmas unlikely

Weather experts indicate a white Christmas unlikely

December 19, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

TRI-STATE - With a week to go before Christmas, golf course manager Harry Grove said he normally sees only the hardiest enthusiasts hitting the links.

But, he said, the Waynesboro (Pa.) Municipal Golf Course has experienced good turnout with recent warm temperatures.

"When you get some balmy weather and temperatures, it brings out the couch potatoes," Grove said Monday, when temperatures in Hagerstown reached a record high.

A Web site maintained by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer showed Monday's high hit 65.8 degrees. The date's previous high of 64 degrees was in 1984.

Alex Sosnowski, an AccuWeather senior meteorologist, said temperatures could dip to near normal levels this week, as cooler Canadian air arrives. Over the last nine days, the area has recorded temperatures nearly 6 degrees warmer than average, he said.

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"Is it unusual for this time of year? Yeah. Has it happened before? Yes," Sosnowski said.

Keefer's Web site at www.i4weather.net shows that temperatures hit 60 degrees or warmer at least twice this month and 70 degrees or warmer once. That day - Dec. 1 - also set a record.

Grove said recent business at the golf course has been good.

"Normally, this time of year through, I guess, the end of February, you don't see too many people, only the hardy ones, the ones with the Viking constitution," Grove said.

Amy Stine, an events coordinator at Whitetail Resort in Pennsylvania, said skiers normally do not turn out in large numbers until after Christmas. The resort has been able to maintain eight trails, she said.

"We have some people out there with shirt sleeves," Stine said.

The man-made snow is more forgiving for beginners, Stine said, but she said she is looking forward to seeing the weather get cold.

"We've just been pleased that we've been able to keep the trails open that we've had," Stine said.

El Nio - warmer than normal temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean - has caused some atypical weather across the country, said Calvin Meadows, a National Weather Service hydrometeorological technician.

Meadows said he could not predict if the weather will put a damper on people's visions of a white Christmas.

"I do not have an answer for you," Meadows said.

Sosnowski was not optimistic.

"Now, as far as any snow, a white Christmas scenario does not appear likely at all," he said.

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