Dreaming of a Gray Christmas? Rain Set to Drench U.S. Northeast

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Northeast is more apt to get mud this Christmas than snow.

A storm system approaching the region this weekend will dump rain on New York, Boston and Washington as temperatures hover above normal, said Michael Schichtel, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. The East Coast is already saturated, meaning the ground could easily turn to muck.

“It has been the wettest year on record for a lot of places,” Schichtel said.

Washington broke a 129-year-old record for rain this year, with 64.2 inches (163.1 centimeters) since January, passing a mark set in 1889, said Dan Hofmann, a National Weather Service meteorologist. About 61 inches have fallen in Manhattan this year, more than a foot above normal.

East Coast temperatures from Dec. 22 to 26 are forecast to run 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 Celsius) above normal, according to Radiant Solutions.

The best chance for a white Christmas in the U.S. will be out west, in the Cascade or Rocky mountains, Schichtel said.

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