When Santa Claus flies over New York City, he might want to bundle up.
The National Weather Service predicts that after a wet week, the skies will be dry on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, rain beginning Thursday could give way to snow showers beginning around 10 p.m. Friday evening and lasting approximately three hours. Temperatures are expected to fall below 20 degrees.
If snow showers fall on Friday night, below-freezing temperatures on Saturday and Sunday raise the possibility of a White Christmas in New York. Both 30-degree days are expected to be partly sunny.
A “White Christmas” is defined as one or more inches of snow. The last time New York City received snow on Christmas was in 2009.
Sloppy weather will complicate travel for New Yorkers hitting the road in the coming days, particularly those travelling along the I-95 corridor, which runs from Maine to Florida.
Weekend travellers leaving town on Friday should avoid being on the road between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., when congestion is at its worst. Saturday’s “Worst Travel Time” is between noon and 6 p.m.
Travel conditions across much of the country appear to be unfavourable, particularly in southern states where an arctic air mass is on its way.
“We’re looking at much-below-normal temperatures, potentially record-low temperatures leading up to the Christmas holiday,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Zack Taylor.
Thursday’s low temperature in Nashville is expected to be five degrees, while Jackson, Miss., is expected to be in the low teens.
Temperatures in Atlanta, Georgia, are expected to fall to 13 degrees on Friday night.
Parts of the northeast are digging their way out of a weekend snowstorm blamed for more than 180 car accidents in Maine. More than 80,000 New Englanders were without power early Sunday morning.
According to AAA, more than 100 million people will drive to their vacation destinations over the next week.