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Warm weather melts hopes for white Christmas

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 9:40 a.m. CST

(MCT) — BLOOMINGTON — It is still early December, but already the chances for a Central Illinois white Christmas are starting to look slim, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln.

“It’s really been an unusual year so far,” said Heather Stanley, “so anything can still happen.”

On Monday, the mercury hit 71 degrees at Bloomington’s Central Illinois Regional Airport. While the reading wasn’t official, it apparently broke the old mark of 70 degrees, set in 1970.

Since 1981, the average high for Dec. 3, is 42 degrees, according to the weather service.

“We still have three weeks before Christmas, but it is expected to remain fairly warm for the rest of the week,” Stanley said. “We could get a little bit of snow toward the weekend, but even if we do, the ground is just way too warm for any accumulation. It is going to take a long cold spell to make any changes in that.”

Today’s projected high of 57 degrees will be somewhat closer to the average, but still is considered unseasonably warm, Stanley said. Wednesday’s high is expected to be a more seasonal 43 degrees.

The next chance of rain is on Saturday, and if the temperatures drop into the 30s overnight as expected, some snow showers also could arrive then, Stanley said.

“But it would be a mixture of rain and a very wet snow,” she said. “For those anxious for our first winter weather event, it’s still going to be a while.”

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