Shall it be a rain slicker — or snow mittens?
It’s looking like Santa should pack the slicker for his big Christmas Eve delivery, with rain in the picture for Sunday night into early Monday, as of the late Wednesday afternoon weather forecast.
But, with Christmas Eve and Day still several days off, nothing was set in stone, said Joe Pollina, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton.
The rain/snow line for a storm system coming through overnight Sunday into Monday was looking to be along the coast of Connecticut, he said. But, if colder air makes its way farther south sooner, Long Islanders could still have a white Christmas on the horizon.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, though, Sunday was looking at highs in the mid-40s, heading down to the mid-30s overnight into the early hours of Monday, which was forecast to warm up to the low 40s.
A cold blast was expected to follow, with temperatures dipping to the low 20s overnight Monday into early Tuesday, according to the weather service.
An earlier shot at precipitation — most likely for Friday night through Saturday night — brings little likelihood for delivering snow, but a good chance at making for some soggy last-minute shopping.
That’s as the Friday overnight temperature was to be around 43 degrees, with Saturday heading up to around 57, and dipping down to the upper 30s overnight, the weather service said.
The last time Long Island saw a white Christmas was in 2013, when 1.7 inches of snow fell the day before, with an inch remaining on Dec. 25, said Jessica Spaccio, climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.
Still, they’re pretty rare, with just an 18 percent chance for an inch or more of snow on the ground for Dec. 25 at Long Island MacArthur Airport, Spaccio said, based on data from 1967 to 2016. As for flakes flying on Christmas Day — even snowfall that’s barely measurable — chances are 2 percent.