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First day of winter to bring snow

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Someone must have told Mother Nature today is the first day of winter.

The snow will fly starting this afternoon and through the weekend. However, for most of Northern New York, the past two months have been a lot more green than white.

Weather spotters recorded 2 inches of snow in Watertown, nearly 17 inches in High Market and anywhere from an inch to 5 inches throughout St. Lawrence County.

“So far for the month of December, we’re running 8.1 degrees above normal,” said Buffalo National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron A. Reynolds. “We’re running warm.”

Although the temperatures have risen as high as the upper 60s this month, Burlington, Vt., NWS meteorologist Brooke O. Taber says there is a high probability for a white Christmas.

Anywhere from 2 to 8 inches of snow will blanket the north country by the end of the weekend, Mr. Taber said. He said there is a winter weather advisory warning of wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour from this evening to Saturday night, cutting visibility down to a half-mile at times. The majority of the snow will hit higher terrain.

“The temperatures behind that, by Sunday, it’ll definitely start feeling like winter,” he said. “Temperatures will drop to the teens on Sunday and in the single digits next week.”

Tuesday will be partly cloudy, with a high of 21 and a low of 13, Mr. Taber said. Snow also is possible Thursday.

Mr. Taber said the rest of the month will show above-normal temperatures and average precipitation. However, he predicts January will be average, meaning a lot of snow and low temperatures.

“I think that as we go into January, we’ll get a more typical weather pattern across the area,” he said.

Typical weather is what one business owner is hoping for. Dry Hill Ski Area owner Timothy L. McAtee said his business was open Saturday and Sunday but hardly anyone came out.

“We learned last year that there has to be snow in everyone’s backyard for them to think about skiing,” he said Thursday. “There’s some very good snowmaking weather starting tomorrow night.”

Mr. McAtee made enough snow to cover one trail and plans to open the ski area again this weekend. The lack of real snow is déjà vu for him and is hurting his business.

“Snowmaking is very expensive,” he said. “We were very much looking forward to winter in Northern New York, especially after last year. Day after day, week after week, people kept asking if we were open.”

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