Chilly days ahead for holiday fun

An early-week mild spell with above average temperatures will precede a major pattern change to durable winter cold by midweek, forecasters said Sunday.

The cold weather pattern with below average temperatures will persist into next week, according to the National Weather Service in State College.

Before the cold arrives, however, widespread rain showers are expected on Tuesday followed by lake effect snow showers and periodic light snow into the second half of the week.

The cold snap and below average temperatures arrives in time for Santa and a tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the corner of West Third and Arch streets in Newberry.

For those heading to the 8th annual tree lighting, the rain that arrived Tuesday should be cleared out with crisp but clear skies and temperatures that will require coat, hat, gloves and a hot beverage.

The low is expected to be 28, so it may be in the low 30s at the time of the tree lighting.

Alannah Gabriel, an event spokeswoman with the Newberry Community Partnership, noted among the activities will be Steve Hulslander and students from West Branch School leading a caroling session.

Santa Claus is expected to arrive to take boys’ and girls’ wishes during this busy season.

For those heading back out Thursday, the cold pattern will remain with a sunny and brisk day and a high of 36. Freezing temperatures are expected Thursday night as the mercury drops to a low of 22.

There is a change of a burst of flurries and light snow arriving Friday afternoon, and temperatures topping at 34. The chance of snow is placed by the forecasters at 40 percent.

Friday night, as the Billtown Christmas Parade kicks-off at 6 p.m., should be cold with a continued chance of snowfall. The low that night is expected to be 23.

Saturday may bring more light snow. The forecast indicates the high to be near 34. There is a 40 percent chance of snow.