North country weather will be quite different this weekend from last

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WATERTOWN — Here one weekend, gone — well, not quite — the next.

The Christmas weekend blizzard that left nearly 4 feet of snow on the ground in parts of the north country will seem like a wintry anomaly by this weekend as air temperatures are expected to rise well into the 40s and lower 50s through the middle of next week, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

The above-average temperatures will accompany rain and snowmelt, but the Weather Service forecasts that the rainfall will be light in the Watertown area, so any flooding will be minor and localized.

Temperatures across the region will be what the Weather Service describes in its forecasters’ discussion as a “SOLID” 20 degrees above where they typically are in late December, although they may be a bit cooler across Lewis and Oswego counties.

The anticipated weather is in stark contrast to what most of the area experienced from Saturday through Monday, when snowfall totals reached well over 40 inches in and around Watertown and into southern St. Lawrence County.

Already this season, Watertown has received a total of 102.75 inches of snow, according to data collected at the city’s water filtration plant. That puts the city already receiving more total snow this season than it did in 71 of the years between 1899 and this year.

The most snow Watertown has ever received in a season is 225.3 inches in 1899-1900 — the first year for which records are available. This is followed closely by 1976-77 — which included the “Blizzard of ’77” — when an even 224 inches were recorded. The lightest snowfall year was 1982-83 when just 34.8 inches fell, or about 3 inches more than was officially recorded at the filtration plant over the weekend that preceded this past Thanksgiving.

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