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Will Baltimore get a white Christmas? Forecast suggests mild rain, but could trend colder

Baltimore has an outside chance of having a white Christmas, but any snow will require a quicker-than-expected intrusion of cold air.

A stretch of mild temperatures starting Tuesday is expected to last through the weekend and potentially into Christmas Day on Monday. But some kind of precipitation is forecast to sweep across the mid-Atlantic for the holiday, and while meteorologists expect it to be rain for now, they say that could change.

Some forecasts suggest a cold front will bring some snow across the middle of the country on Sunday, from Oklahoma to Ohio, but it remains unclear whether it will be cold enough for that precipitation not to fall as rain once it reaches Maryland late Sunday night into Monday.

For now, the National Weather Service is calling for highs around 50 degrees and a 50 percent chance of rain here on Monday. But meteorologists acknowledged that the forecast has been trending colder, and could get cold enough for more widespread snowfall.

“At present, we have confined snow to western Maryland and eastern West Virginia, but it’s not out of the question that a significant risk of snow could reach some DC/Baltimore suburbs, given the cooling trend,” they wrote.

In any given year, Baltimore has about a 10 percent chance of seeing snowfall on Christmas Day, according to the weather service. But the last time it occurred was 2002, when about an inch of snow fell.

This could be Baltimore’s coldest Christmas since 2013. Last year, temperatures peaked at 50 degrees on Christmas Day, and Christmas 2015 came one degree shy of a tie for record warmth, reaching 71 degrees. Temperatures reached 61 degrees on the holiday in 2014, but did not rise above freezing in 2013, with a high of 32 degrees.

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