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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Winter off to a cold start

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MASSENA - Last December the average temperature in Massena was 4.6 degrees above normal; this year as we approach the end of the month facing another bitter cold spell, the National Weather Service (NWS), Burlington, Vt., reports that this December has been the exact opposite.

“The average temperature in Massena has been 18.6 degrees,” according to NWS meteorologist Andrew Loconto. That’s 4 degrees below normal.”

Looking back through a month’s worth of data, Mr. Loconto said the average was really driven down by a one week stretch from Dec. 11 through Dec. 17 when the temperature was below average every day and at some points significantly below average.

“Things bottomed out at -25 on Dec. 17.” Mr. Loconto said. “That’s 30 degrees below normal in one day. It’s certainly been much colder than normal for December.”

When asked if he expected the cold temperatures to continue all winter, he predicted the law of averages will eventually prevail and the temperatures, while still cold, should creep back up at least a little bit.

“This shouldn’t continue all winter long,” he said.

In fact, the NWS is predicting today to be warmer than yesterday with an anticipated high of 19 degrees before the bitter cold returns again.

In addition to warmer temperatures for today, Mr. Loconto said the region can expect a dusting to a 2 inches of snow.

“As the clipper exits, it’s going to bring even colder air into the region,he said, noting the anticipated low for tonight is -6. With the forecast also calling for some wind, he said wind chills are definitely going to be a factor this New Year’s Eve.

“There are going to be some really low wind chills,” he said. According to the forecast, the NWS is predicting wind gusts up to 36 miles per hour with wind chills that could approach -20 degrees.

Later in the week isn’t looking much better, as the NWS is calling for a high of 7 on Wednesday, a high of 0 on Thursday and a high of -3 on Friday, with a 60 percent chance of snow reported for both days. Some weather models call for four to eight inches of snow to fall in the region in the latter part of the week.

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