Artists work on snow sculptures at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China. Reuters

Global warming may already be ravaging coastal communities and killing off species at an alarming rate, but it isn’t about to carpet bomb dreams of having a white Christmas — at least not this year. This year is likely to mark the hottest global temperatures in recorded history but flurries of snow have increased in parts of the United States heading into this week’s holiday celebrations.

Snow has increased in the West, upper Midwest and the Appalachians, according to Inside Climate News, while the Pacific Northwest and Great Plains have seen a decline in snow this year.

Weather forecasts in the United States have predicted that a “significant storm system” will move through the northern Plains on Christmas Day, blanketing the region in white while making travel dangerous and difficult, the National Weather Service said Wednesday. That heavy snow is possible beginning Friday in Wyoming, the Dakotas and northern Minnesota. There were winter storm watches for the weekend that extended into eastern Idaho and Nevada, as well.

“It's going to be a pretty significant storm,” Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for the Weather Channel, said.

Other parts of the country could also get some typical winter weather, though it may not only be snow. From New England on down along the East Coast, forecasts predict snow, rain and ice. States south of the Plains were expected to be getting ice during the holiday weekend.

Of course, climate change isn’t impacted by singular storm events. Instead, climate change takes into account changes over a long period of time. Models have predicted steadily rising global temperatures that will have various impacts including a decreased probability of snowfall in parts of the world. But, even if snow is unlikely in a place due to climate changes, it’s always possible that strange weather will visit from time to time. After all, it snowed in July this year in Montana.