Snow may come for Christmas

JUDI PINKERTON/Sun-Gazette Correspondent The Serenity Singers serenade a city resident and child Sunday.

With Thursday’s winter solstice and Christmas on Monday, locals are getting in the holiday spirit, and the weather also may be more classically winter with the possibility of upcoming snow showers.

Elizabeth Bodnar, of Williamsport, went out with the Serenity Singers group to participate in Christmas caroling on Dec. 17.

“We’re just a group of men and women. We get together over the holidays to celebrate … It’s just a whole different crew here. It’s single moms, families, it’s dads and it’s kids,” she said. “It’s anyone who wants to come out and sing for a second.”

She said it provides an opportunity to pause the hustle and bustle of the world, just stop for a minute and enjoy some holiday music.

“I think the holidays are a really special time. It’s a good time to celebrate our families and our friends,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to remember all the good things in our lives.”

She said for her, it’s a tradition to go out and sing carols. This is the seventh year the group has gotten together to sing carols. Bodnar’s favorite carol to sing is “Away in a Manger.”

“We do it for the children, and they really love it. We go around to different neighborhoods … we sometimes get people to come out of their homes with their kids,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for people who don’t get out much to come out, sing with us and enjoy.”

Meeting other people and sharing the experience is her favorite part of caroling.

“I think that this is about community and getting together. Community is so important. We want to try to be a part of the community for a good reason,” she said. “It’s refreshing.”

As of this time, she said she thinks the caroling is done for the year, which may be a good thing as this coming weekend might have precipitation that could make caroling difficult, according to Rob Radzanowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

He said the mild weather the area experienced on Tuesday will be unlikely to happen again for the rest of the week, and today’s weather will have high temperatures in the upper 40s.

“It’s more seasonal temperatures, but not really cold. It’s pretty close to normal but slightly above normal for the day,” he said.

It should be mostly sunny skies with breezes in the first half of the day, with winds of around 10 mph to 15 mph and gusts up to 30 mph.

“The wind will die down the second half of the day, and it’ll be real quiet weather with lows in the 20s,” he said.

Thursday is the winter solstice and known as the shortest day of the year. While all days have 24 hours, daylight varies.

“It’s the shortest day of the year as far as sunlight. It’s when the sun gets the farthest south of the equator before it starts moving slowly back northward,” he said. “That means our days will get longer a little bit each day from this point forward. The amount of daylight we see each day will get a little bit longer.”

The daylight will continue to increase until June 21, which often is known as the longest day of the year as it has the most sunlight.

He said, astronomically, winter starts at 11:28 a.m. Thursday.

“It will be mostly sunny, highs in the mid-30s. Thursday night will have increasing clouds, lows in the mid-20s,” he said.

Some form of precipitation may start on Friday.

“There’s a small chance of some light freezing rain or drizzle in the morning on Friday,” he said. “There’s a chance of light rain in the afternoon, but that’ll depend on if temperatures are warm enough.”

He said it should be rain, but it just depends on exact temperatures.

“It’s a travel day, so chances are not high (for freezing) but there is a chance in the morning,” he said. “Highs are in the lower 40s … Friday night, we have rain likely with a 70 percent chance. Lows are in the upper 40s, well above freezing.”

For Saturday, the rain continues during the day.

“Highs are around 50, and Saturday night will be mostly cloudy, low around 30,” he said.

Christmas Eve temperatures are expected to be lower on Sunday.

“Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a 30-percent chance of rain or snow,” he said. “High around 40. Sunday night will be cloudy with a chance of rain or snow, lows around 30 degrees.”

He said it’s hard to predict if it will be cold enough for snow.

“Whether it rains or snows just depends on the exact temperature,” he said. “A little bit uncertain for this particular situation. It just happens to be Christmas time.

Christmas Day on Monday looks like rain showers likely with highs in the upper 30s, he said.

“Lows Christmas night will be in the lower 20s,” he said.

For those traveling after Christmas on Tuesday, the temperature is expected to drop to make snow even more likely.

“Tuesday looks cooler, and it looks like a chance of snow showers,” he said. “We’re going to have high temperatures in the upper 20s.”