The shovel-strained backs of York County residents could have a few days to recuperate before going at it again.

But beware: More snow and mixed precipitation is in the forecast for Friday night, and it could continue into Sunday morning.

By about 9 a.m. Tuesday, at least 3 inches of fresh snow had blanketed much of York County, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow arrived just in time for the morning commute.

Dozens of accidents were reported across York County. All York County school districts closed for the day.

Meteorologist Elyse Colbert said the snow was expected to taper off completely by evening, with snowfall totals ranging by the area.

But the clear night might not offer much relief, as it's expected to bring the coldest low temperature logged by York County so far this year: 15 degrees. That's colder than the 17-degree nights recorded during a cold spell in November, Colbert said.

She said temperatures are expected to stay cold, and a new weather system will be making its way to York Friday night and could bring more precipitation.

Roller-coaster winter: The recent snows could be the start of a roller coaster of winter weather for York County, according to meteorologists.

"We're thinking that the cold weather we're experiencing and the winter pattern could actually ease and temperatures could go above normal in the latter part of the month and into the start of the new year," said Brian Edwards, meteorologist with AccuWeather.com.

However, "it's hard to tell" exactly what winter will do this season, he said.

York County got an average of about 4 inches of snow Sunday and was expected to get 3 to 5 inches on Tuesday, Edwards said.

With Sunday's snow, the county has exceeded its average of about 3.2 inches of snow for the month of December, Edwards said.

"It's not out of the ordinary to get snow now," he said. "We're in December. This is the time of year to get winter weather. It's just that the amount of snow you usually get for the month came earlier."

The average temperature for the month of December is 37.9 degrees. However, there are long-range forecasts indicating temperatures might be above normal in the latter part of December, according to Edwards.

"If we get more storms then, they could be mixed or rain," he said.

Colder than normal: Colder weather is expected for late January and the entire month of February, with both months offering increased chances for multiple accumulating snow events, he said.

"It will be somewhat of a roller-coaster ride between now and then, kind of an up-and-down weather pattern," he said. Kevin Fitzgerald, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a long-range winter forecast cannot be based on a recent snowfall.

However, he did say the area has experienced some other-than-normal weather conditions.

Fitzgerald said November was 2.9 degrees colder than normal. The average temperature was 41.2 degrees, while the normal average temperature for the area is 44.1, based on numbers collected at the Harrisburg International Airport, he said.

There were 2.42 inches of rain in November, though the month's normal amount is 3.23 inches, Fitzgerald added.

Using York Airport numbers, Edwards said the average November temperature was 41.2 degrees, compared to the typical temperature of 45.2 degrees, a four-degree difference. The precipitation of 2.38 inches of rain was only 68 percent of the normal average, he said.

"November was colder and drier for York County," Edwards said.

-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.