Just months after a record winter of snow in parts of the Northeast, business owners who rely on the white stuff are starting to fear warm weather could bring a nightmare winter of a different sort.

Buffalo already has broken a record this year: Previously, the latest the city had seen measurable snow was Dec. 3. As of Tuesday, the city had beaten that by five days.

Burlington, Vt., had two- tenths of an inch as of Tuesday, shy of the normal snow to date of 8.7 inches.

The long-range forecast doesn't offer a lot of hope, with a warming trend forecast this weekend. It's quite a change from last winter, which hammered Boston with a record 110.6 inches of snow and which left Buffalo with mountains of plowed snow into August.

Charles Blakeman, a product promoter in Boston, took a longer view: "There's a lack of snow so far, which just means that we're going to get hit harder later on." - AP