A white Christmas looks unlikely, but it's still too early to rule one out.
Despite the season's first blast of cold weather Sunday and Monday, temperature forecasts for the next two weeks are working against a white, picture-perfect Christmas.
There's still the possibility of one, however, because of the potential for precipitation later this month.
Nebraska is in the midst of its warmest and driest year on record. This is the eighth-warmest and driest year in Iowa. Every day without snow adds to the record for consecutive snowless days in Omaha and Lincoln. Today, Omaha marks its 291st day without measurable snow; Lincoln, its 302nd day.
It's the predicted warmth as much as anything that could nix the chances for snow, said Becky Kern, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office that serves eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
That doesn't bode well for those wishing for a white Christmas, she said.
However, a couple of rounds of precipitation are likely between now and Christmas, meteorologists say.
The first chance arrives later this week, and current indications are that any precipitation will come in the form of rain. Unlike last weekend's forecast for rain that never materialized, the system arriving later this week should carry with it a better chance for precipitation, Kern said.
Another round of rain or snow is possible shortly before Dec. 25. Temperatures by then might have dropped enough for any precipitation to fall as snow, said Jack Boston, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, The World-Herald's weather consultant.
Harry Hillaker, state climatologist for Iowa, said each snow to the north of Nebraska and Iowa improves the chances for snow in this region.
Heavy snow has fallen in Minnesota and South Dakota, and more is possible this weekend, he said. That would improve the chances for a December snow in the Omaha metropolitan area, Hillaker said.
If snow doesn't fall soon, another record is in jeopardy.
The current record for Omaha's latest first snow of the season is Dec. 30, set in 2006, Kern said. Given that this weekend's moisture could fall as rain and above-normal warmth is expected for the next two weeks, breaking that record is beginning to look attainable, she said.
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