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What Can The Tri-State Area Expect For The Rest Of Winter?

MONROE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- There have already been two snowfalls in the opening weeks of this year – but what about the rest of the season?

As CBS2's Vanessa Murdock reported Wednesday on what we might expect for the rest of the season.

The hits from Old Man Winter have just kept on coming. Some have gotten stuck with the cleanup, while others have taken it all in stride – literally so for the cross-country skiers out there.

"This is gorgeous weather," said a man named Neil.

On the whole, it has been a snowy and cold winter. Snow problem, says Nyack school teacher Stephanie Conte, who got the snow day she wished for.

"I was doing the pajama inside out and backward dance last night and hoping for the best," Conte said.

"Well, the cold I don't like, so I'll take the snow with the warm weather," added Tammy Garnett of Monroe.

Is warmer weather in our future? The answer is yes in the short-term, but what's up for the rest of winter?

"There's no real reason to think it's going to persist in a very cold and/or snowy state," said Richard Seager, a research professor at Columbia University's Lamont Dougherty Earth Observatory.

Seager said the main driving force this winter is La Niña, a cold water pileup in the equatorial Pacific. It favors warm and dry weather in the southwest and cool and wet weather over the northern U.S.

"In New York City, we're right at the border between the wet and the dry and between the cool and wet," he said.

And long-term predictions favor normal to above-normal temperatures for the rest of winter.

Judah Cohen, the director of seasonal forecasting at AER, believes before long, temperatures will tumble again. But he expects more ups and downs through January's end.

"My expectation after that is that it settles into a cold air, possibly snowier pattern as well," Cohen said.

As for the big swings we've experienced this winter, Cohen says said he expects them to become more common.

"The thing that I expect, anyway – the thing that's, you know, maybe almost thinking are guaranteed, are these wild temperature swings come wintertime," Cohen said.

But there will be no more big swings before the weekend. Thursday begins a steady climb to temperatures well above normal – and the 6 inches of snow on the ground in Monroe and other places will begin to melt.

By the weekend, many will be left with just blacktop.

To check the current forecast, click here.

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