People in the Capital Region most likely will not have to dream about a white Christmas this year.
Snow is predicted to become a reality this weekend, part of two weather systems that begin Friday. And that should mean the area's first snowy Christmas since 2002 — the year a blockbuster storm dropped 19.2 inches into the Capital Region.
According to meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Albany, the chance for precipitation Friday is 100 percent. Snow is expected before 2 p.m., followed by snow and sleet between 2 and 4 p.m. Sleet will fall after 4 p.m., with a total accumulation of two to five inches possible.
Snow and sleet are also in the forecast for Friday night, with freezing rain likely.
Meteorologist Joe Villani said Friday morning commuters will deal with snow. Drivers in the late afternoon commute will be affected by snow, sleet and freezing rain.
"As long as they slow down and give themselves plenty of space between vehicles and a little patience, hopefully everyone will be OK," Villani said.
For Saturday, meteorologists say rain will be in the forecast, with a high near 40. Rain and snow showers are possible between 8 and 11 p.m., with a chance of snow showers after 11.
On Christmas Eve, snow will be likely after 8 p.m.
The Christmas Day forecast says snow is likely before 2 p.m., followed by a chance of snow showers after 2.
According to records kept by the National Weather Service in Albany, decent snowfalls have taken place on Christmas Day 11 times since 1874. Here are the dates and the amounts of snow from weather events that dropped at least an inch:
- 1901 — 1.2 inches
- 1902 — 6 inches
- 1909 — 2.3 inches
- 1945 — 1 inch
- 1948 — 1 inch
- 1951 — 4.4 inches
- 1966 — 5.3 inches
- 1974 — 4.4 inches
- 1978 — 11.8 inches
- 1985 — 3.8 inches
- 2002 — 19.2 inches