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Winterlike Cold to Make Comeback in East

As cold air continues to flow down out of Canada and across the Plains and Rockies, the Northeast is next in line for the blast, despite a seasonable start to December.

Last month delivered biting cold to major cities in the East, including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Buffalo, N.Y., and Boston.

From Nov. 19-30, Buffalo dropped 8.7 degrees below normal for the period. D.C. plummeted 6.6 degrees below normal, and Philadelphia 5.1 degrees, respectively.

While the first week of December brought some reprieve to the region, surges of cold air will bleed eastward through the remainder of the month, according to AccuWeather.com Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok.

Similar to November, the last few weeks of fall will feel like the winter season.

"December looks colder than originally thought in the Northeast," he said.

Next week could bring some mixed events, including snow and ice for the region. Nearer to the holidays, however, travelers may catch a break from the slippery, traffic-slowing conditions.

"Right near the Christmas holiday, there may be a small break in the pattern, but of course, that's hard to pinpoint this far out," Pastelok said.

Northern New England and New York will likely have an active enough storm track to keep ski resorts busy through the holiday. Other parts of the East could struggle due to the mixed precipitation, but low temperatures will be conducive to snow-making operations.

Though the forecast brings good news for skiers and snowboarders, homeowners may be less enthused as the cold surge could drive up energy costs.

Those with electric heat may crank the thermostat higher than usual this month, but natural gas users may have little control over higher bills.

Short-term increases in natural gas use can drive costs up as the supply cannot always respond quickly enough to the demand, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Temperatures in far northern areas of the East could wind up averaging slightly below normal this month.

Some mild days will punctuate the cold blasts, but long stretches of higher temperatures are not anticipated.

Depending on the frequency, these warmer days could result in slightly above-normal monthly averages for southern New England and the mid-Atlantic.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Jillian MacMath at macmathj@accuweather.com, follow her on Twitter @Accu_Jillian or Google+. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.