Most of Harford County welcomed the first snowfall of the season Monday afternoon, although the chances of any of sticking around until Christmas morning appeared unlikely.
A wet and foggy Christmas morning is more likely than a white one, according to the latest National Weather Service forecast, which, however, also expects much of the day Tuesday to be sunny with moderate temperatures for this time of year.
Wet snow started falling around Harford at mid-afternoon Christmas Eve and quickly blanketed fields, lawns and trees and some less traveled street, particularly across the northern end of the county.
That was certainly the case in Fallston, where the snow also covered the multitude of cars and SUVs jammed into the parking lot of St. Mark's Catholic Church for the 4 p.m. Mass, the first of three scheduled Monday afternoon and night.
"It's very peaceful," one of the parking lot attendants outside the church said of the snow.
He quickly added, however, "I hope everyone is patient when it's time to leave...we'll see how much Christmas spirit they have."
Though the snow was still coming down at a pretty good clip as dusk turned to darkness, the precipitation began to change over to rain in the Fallston area around 6 p.m. and, within 30 minutes, had become all rain.
With light snow expected Monday afternoon and early evening, the State Highway Administration issued an advisory reminding motorists to drive with caution, as some spots or roads may be icy overnight.
"Crews will be out to make sure roads are safe and clear," the SHA advisory said, also telling motorists to use 511 to obtain the latest traveler information and to remember the basic rules of driving in winter weather: "Slow down, wear your seat belts and never pass snowplows."
Early Monday evening, the National Weather Service still had a winter weather advisory posted for Harford County and northern Baltimore County.
As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, the NWS forecast for the Bel Air area said rain before midnight Monday with areas of fog and a low around 32 degrees, with east winds 5 to 9 mph becoming light and variable after midnight. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch are forecast.
The forecast for Tuesday, Christmas Day, is for areas ¿of fog before 10 a.m. Otherwise, according to the NWS, the forecast is for a partly sunny day, with a high near 45 and northwest winds 8 to 11 mph.
The Christmas night forecast is for increasing clouds, with a low around 32 and north winds 6 to 9 mph, according to the NWS.
Wednesday¿ morning, there is a chance of snow and sleet before 11 a.m, then rain with a high near 40. The chance of precipitation Wednesday is 100 percent, with new precipitation amounts between a half and three-quarters of an inch possible, according to the NWS forecast.
Check back with www.exploreharford.com for updates.