NWS: ‘Going to be a white Christmas’

A week long cold spell not expected to break freezing is predicted after what forecasters said would be an ideal white Christmas.

The light snow was expected to begin at 8 p.m. last night and end around midnight, according to the National Weather Service in State College.

Although the accumulation was expected to only be a couple inches “it’s looking like it’s going to be a white Christmas,” said forecaster Paul Head.

Together with the snow, today is looking to be a nice Christmas day, he said.

Temperatures are expected to reach 27 degrees by mid-morning and peak in the mid- to upper- 30s.

“It’s going to be blustery maybe with a few flurries and a passing snow shower,” Head said. “The wind will be blowing though … at 20 to 30 mph.”

Temperatures are expected to drop and introduce the “real arctic air” that may linger until 2018.

“Once we go below freezing Christmas night, it’s looking like we won’t go above that until the New Year,” Head said. “It’ll be a good preview of January.”

Tuesday is going to be sunny and cold, with winds up to 20 mph.

“Wednesday and Thursday are looking like really nice days, but it’s gonna be really cold,” Head said.

A clouding over is expected Thursday for a coastal storm hitting the area either Friday or Saturday.

“With that, there is the potential for snow,” Head said.

But whether any accumulation will result is still too far out to see.

“It’s even hard to predict the day this far out,” Head said.

The week of freezing temperatures is colder than usual, but not by much.

“It’s not that unusual,” Head said. Normal highs during that period are between 34 and 19 — making it only about a five degree difference.