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A person riding a horse-drawn buggy crosses Route 414, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, in Romulus, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Winter officially started today and it's plenty cold, but don't count on a white Christmas

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Winter officially started at 5:44 a.m. EST Wednesday.

If you don't feel any different, well, that might be because it's been cold for weeks in much of the United States. In fact, it's expected to get warmer for most of the lower 48 Christmas approaches, according to AccuWeather.

Today also marks the shortest day of the year -- the sun will set at 4:50 p.m., according to TimeandDate.com.

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An outdoor display of Christmas greenery contains icy snow at Boston Hill Farm, Dec. 12, 2016, in North Andover, Mass. after a snowy mix fell in the morning hours. Many Massachusetts schools are closed or are getting a late start as a winter storm brings a mix of snow and rain to the state. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Don't count on a white Christmas unless you live in the Rocky Mountains, the northern Midwest or New England. In those regions, it won't get warm enough to melt the snow from earlier this month, according to The Weather Channel.

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Pedestrians walk along a snow-covered sidewalk, Saturday Dec. 17, 2016, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Snow and freezing rain are forecast for New York City after a couple of days of bitter cold in the Northeast. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

USA Today reports more snow is expected in the northern Great Plains region and parts of New England, but it'll clear out by the weekend. Meanwhile, mid-Atlantic cities like Philadelphia and New York could see highs around 50 degrees. 

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Campers shovel out an exit ramp at the Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. Many Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents who've gathered for months in the camp are committed to staying despite wintry weather and demands that they leave. An overnight storm brought several inches of snow, winds gusting to 50 mph and temperatures that felt as cold as 10 degrees below zero. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The Weather Channel said a blizzard could be possible in the Dakotas and parts of Minnesota. That means it's a good thing the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters have already cleared out.

Either way, better start getting ready to bundle up.

But at least winter's pretty. Sometimes.

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