This year likely will finish as the warmest since “at least” 1950 across the United States, but enough cold air is on the radar to spread snow to areas that have been without on Christmas for a few years, according to

Despite news of the cold burst, natural gas traders were mostly unimpressed. While gas trading Friday for delivery over the weekend and on Monday saw small price upticks at most points nationally, the natural gas futures contract for January fell 1.1 cents Friday to close at $3.451/MMBtu.

In a report Friday, Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said the most recent storm, a “major blizzard,” was not done yet and would put down a layer of heavy snow from Colorado to Michigan.

Part of a new storm, which was north of Hawaii on Friday, had a “chance of tracking in just the right manner to spread a swath of snow beginning from the central Appalachians to the northern mid-Atlantic coast and southern New England spanning Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.”

The “most likely scenario,” he said, is that the storm would not become too strong, but rain showers and mild air might be drawn northward into the Tennessee and Ohio valleys, the Carolinas, the Virginias, Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey.

“As the storm glides toward the Atlantic coast, a change to snow is possible from the central Appalachians to areas farther east near the Mason-Dixon Line,” said Sosnowski. “However, even with this portrayal, there is a chance of a period of accumulating snow from Harrisburg and Scranton, PA, to Hartford, CT, and Boston, where the air would stay cold enough on the front side, middle and tail end of the storm.

“In the swath from northern Maryland, Philadelphia and northern Delaware to central New Jersey, New York City and Long Island, part rain and part snow are most likely.” A “remote possibility” is for a mix of snow in Washington, DC, and Baltimore, as well as far as Albany, NY, and Portland, ME. With enough moisture, snow also could accumulate “to an inch or two” or up to six inches in some locations “north of the Mason-Dixon Line to near the Interstate 95 corridor in southern New England.” The Alleghenies to the Poconos, Catskills, and Berkshires “have the greatest potential to get several inches of snow from such a storm.”

Sosnowski said a “second and larger storm” is flying in on Christmas Eve in the West, which could “unload heavy snow from the Sierra Nevada to the Wasatch, and central and southern Rockies…”

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