Mild weather pattern to squash white Christmas chances across the US

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By: Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer

For many, snowfall on Christmas Day is almost as important as Santa Claus himself. This year, however, snowy scenes may be found mostly in movies.

A mild weather pattern will grip the nation, leaving few regions the opportunity to see flakes fly on Dec. 25.

Just under 10 days from the holiday, the best chances to experience a white Christmas will be across the northeastern and north-central United States.

However, that doesn't mean you'll be able to watch the snow falling on Christmas Day or even Christmas Eve, forecasters say.

"I would expect to see some snow still on the ground over northern New England and northern New York but with a mild pattern around at that time, it might be tough to see much fresh snow," AccuWeather Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.

As for the big cities along the East Coast, including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City, chances are even slimmer for snow on the holiday.

"Temperatures might even be in the 40s in the afternoon, making for a slightly above-average Christmas Day," he said.

See cities that may see snow during the holidays:

6 PHOTOS
US cities that can expect a white Christmas
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US cities that can expect a white Christmas
Dan Glisczinski makes his way to an appointment by bicycle following a snowfall in Duluth, Minnesota November 10, 2014. An arctic blast began to dump heavy snow in parts of the northern Rockies, Plains and the Great Lakes regions on Monday and meteorologists said temperatures are expected to plummet throughout the United States. In Minnesota, police said dozens of car crashes marked the season's first snow as drivers struggled with slippery roads.REUTERS/Robert King/Duluth News-Tribune (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT)
Horses in snow, Sun Mountain Lodge, near Winthrop, Eastern Washington
ASPEN, CO - DECEMBER 20: Atmosphere at The 2013 World Snow Polo Championship on December 20, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The St. Regis Aspen Resort)
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Ski Lift Line. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
 This is a shot of Mount Rainier from Paradise during a early winter snow covering.
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Though it will bear a stark contrast to the recent extreme cold across the Northeast, it won't be quite as warm as the Christmas of 2015, when many were able to don t-shirts instead of holiday sweaters.

Those spending the holiday in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and parts of the northern Plains may be in luck; cooler air will allow snow that's already fallen to stick around into the holiday.

"Temperatures will be cold up until Christmas, but look to be turning warmer even for the Plains for around Christmas Day," Reppert said.

Colder air will instead hover over the West and the Rockies.

Snow is likely to fall in the typical areas of the mountains and in higher elevations. However, cities such as Denver and Billings, Montana, will likely miss out.

A lack of cold air along the Washington and Oregon coastline will cause any Christmas precipitation to fall as rain only.

Some of this may stretch into northern California, translating to snow in the higher elevations.

Related: Also look back on Winter Storm Jonas:

18 PHOTOS
#Blizzard2016 aka Winter Storm Jonas slams the east coast
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#Blizzard2016 aka Winter Storm Jonas slams the east coast

A massive winter storm system pummeled the eastern United States in late January 2016, with two low-pressure systems merging into a potent nor’easter that dropped heavy snow from Virginia to New England. By late afternoon on Jan. 23, snowfall totals were approaching records in several states, and hurricane-force winds were battering the coastlines and leading to serious flooding. The storm was expected to continue through the morning of Jan. 24.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of the storm system at 2:15 a.m. EST on Jan. 23. It was composed through the use of the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects faint light signals such as city lights, moonlight, airglow, and auroras. In the image, the clouds are lit from above by the nearly full Moon and from below by the lights of the heavily populated East Coast. The city lights are blurred in places by cloud cover.

(Photo via NASA)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23: A woman walks in strong winds and heavy snow fall in Central Park on January 23, 2016 in New York City. A major Nor'easter is hitting much of the East Coast and parts of the South as forecasts warn of up to two feet of snow in some areas. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man use a skiing on a snow covered street in Manhattan in New York on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A pedestrian walks in the center of a snow-covered residential street in Washington, DC on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

January 22, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): Massive #snowstorm blanketing #EastCoast clearly visible from @Space_Station! Stay safe! #blizzard2016 #YearInSpace

TOPSHOT - A man lays in a pile of snow in Times Square on January 23, 2016 in New York. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 23: Waves crash on the beach on January 23, 2016 in Cape May, New Jersey. A major snowstorm is upon the East Coast this weekend with some areas expected to receive over a foot of snow. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Nuns from the Fraternite Notre-Dame in Chicago, Illinois are covered in newly fallen snow as they walk along Constitution Avenue while snow begins to accumulate January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. A major snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with some areas expected to receive up to 1-2 feet of snow. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Snow covers cars parked in Washington on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man pushing a snow plough during a snowstorm January 22, 2016 in New York. / AFP / FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks on snow covered Thomas Circle in Washington on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: A snowplow cleans up snow on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the U.S. Capitol January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. A winter snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with prediction of up to 30 inches of snow for the DC area. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - The White House is seen during a snowstorm in Washington January 22, 2016. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - People cross 15ht Street during a snowstorm in Washington January 22, 2016. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Homeless covers from the snow in Central park on January 23, 2016 in New York. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks past a restaurant during a snowstorm January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 22: Vehicles move along Interstate 40 as an overhead sign indicates 'Winter Weather Warning In Effect' during a winter storm on January 22, 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A major snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with some areas getting a possible one to two feet of snow. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
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More from AccuWeather:
Shoveling snow increases risk for winter heart attacks, experts say
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