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What gifts will nature bring to WNY on Christmas Day 2016?

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Posted at 11:43 AM, Dec 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-20 11:49:24-05

Will nature fill our stockings with snow and cold on Christmas Day as it has in the past, or will Jack Frost be kind to us who wish for a break from old man winter? 

We can say with certainty that nothing's getting in Santa's way! However, it'll be a chilly start to your Christmas Day Festivities. Maybe that new sweater Grandma knitted you will keep you warm.

Afternoon temperatures top out in the mid to upper 30s, with a 40F reading out there in the Northtowns. The American Global Model (GFS) is the coldest of all the global models, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark during the day. According to the Buffalo National Weather Service, 34F is the average high temperature on Christmas Day.

No model as of now brings snow to the area until late Sunday night into Monday. Just in case you are curious, the most snow that has fallen on Christmas Day happened back in 2002, where 8.4" of snow was measured at the airport.

Temperatures for the most part will be above 32F from now until Christmas Day. Add some sun to the mix, and yes, Frosty The Snowman won't have that jolly ole look as he did the day you built it up. Niagara County has the least shot of seeing a White Christmas this year, since you folks have seen the least amount of snow over the past couple of weeks. And there aren't many opportunities between now and Christmas for it to fall and accumulate. 

Historically, the odds of Buffalo seeing a White Christmas according to the Buffalo National Weather Service is 57 percent. The airport hasn't seen a White Christmas in two years. As of writing this, snow depth at the Buffalo Airport was a half a foot. It'll be a close call, but the metro area may just luck out and not melt all of the snow away.

The Southern Tier has the best shot at seeing a White Christmas, given that you folks have done the most shoveling out of everyone in WNY. 

And if you were hoping for a warm up, nature wraps and gifts us one the day after Christmas! High temperatures next Monday are forecasted to get into the 50s across Western New York. If you're looking for the 70s, sorry. You'll have to travel all the way to West Virginia and Kentucky on Monday to feel the real warmth.