- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - If you want to see a “White Christmas” in Ohio this year, you probably should rent Bing Crosby’s classic movie.

The National Weather Service expects Friday temperatures in the 50s for most of the state, with lows well above freezing. Like many other states, Ohio is experiencing unseasonably warm weather for the extended holiday weekend. The Lake Erie city of Buffalo, New York, topped 60 on Thursday for a record Christmas Eve high.

Although there’s no snow, much of Ohio is expected to get rain over the weekend.

The weather has meant no shooting down the ice chute at Cleveland Metroparks’ Chalet Recreation Area. The Strongsville tobogganing attraction is closed through Saturday. Park officials plan to reopen it Sunday.

Dozens of people skated in 50-degree weather Thursday morning at downtown Cincinnati’s Fountain Square ice rink. A good many were part of the annual Mechley family Christmas Eve gathering at the rink.

“Ironically, it’s the first year we had rented the warming hut,” said Camille Gartner, 47, who’s among the group expected to reach up to 80 people over four generations.

Temperatures were in the low 50s, though the shadows cast by tall buildings made it feel chillier around the rink. Family members had been concerned about the outlook for skating when temperatures were in the upper 60s less than two weeks ago. They also were worried about potential heavy rain that could have halted skating, but skies were mostly sunny Thursday after storms passed through the region the day before.

“It’s been awesome,” Gina Cerimele-Mechley, 44, said of the latest gathering. But she said she would have liked to have had a white Christmas.

“I’m sad about that,” she said. “I love winter. It’s my favorite season.”

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Follow Dan Sewell at https://www.twitter.com/dansewell

For some of his other recent stories: https://bigstory.ap.org/content/dan-sewell


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