Despite a snowy first half of the month, Yorkers will have to keep dreaming of that mystical white Christmas.

Warmer than normal temperatures that rose to as high as 71 on Sunday melted nearly all the snow that was brought by a trio of winter storms that hit the county earlier this month.

And there's little chance snow will accompany the colder temperatures that will creep back into the area, making it unlikely there will be a white Christmas this year, said Bill Gartner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College.

"There's a chance, yeah," he said. "Not a great one for Southeastern Pennsylvania."

Home for the holiday: The lack of snow in the forecast was good news to David Rudolph, superintendent of the York City's electrical bureau and building maintenance department.

"I love a green Christmas, then myself and the rest of public works get to be home with family," he said.

Rudolph said his father, who also worked for the city's public works department, was often called away from home at the holidays.

"I hated snow at Christmas as I kid because my father could be gone for days plowing," Rudolph said.

After living in Florida for six years, Dover Township resident Mark Foreman said he prefers snow at Christmas.

"It's not near the same as a white Christmas," he said. "I spent one in Hong Kong and a store brought tons of snow into an arena. The (people) went crazy."

Last white Christmas: It's difficult to say exactly when York County last had a white Christmas because State College-based Accuweather doesn't keep such records, said Frank Straight, a senior meteorologist there.

However, the county received more than 2 inches of snow on Christmas Eve last year and 18 inches of snow on Dec. 19 in 2009. That snow could have stuck around until Christmas, he said.

The last true white Christmas came in 2002, when 7 inches of snow fell on the county between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The days leading up to this Christmas will feel like winter. A cold front will move in this week, bringing temperatures back into the 30s, Gartner said.

There will be showers on Monday, which will have a high near 55 and a low around 28. Tuesday's high will be a seasonal 35, and its low will be around 23. There's a small chance of some flurries early Tuesday morning, Gartner said.

Wednesday, Christmas, will be sunny with a high near 31 and a low around 27.

Record set: On Sunday morning, the thermometer at York Airport hit 71, Gartner said. But since there are no official weather sites in York, that is not an official record.

The closest site, Harrisburg International Airport, clocked in at 69 degrees Sunday morning, breaking a record-high of 64 set in 1949, Gartner said.

"It's more than likely it's a record (in York) too; it's just not a record site," he said.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.