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December 16, 10 PM Weather Forecast Update

Nice day, but turning cooler tomorrow.

Posted: Dec 16, 2018 9:57 PM
Updated: Dec 16, 2018 10:44 PM

My original thinking for this long, long range forecast was warm October start, chilly the rest of the way, cold November, cold December with potential record cold below zero mid-December, then big warm-up with 40s & 50s with rain after Christmas.

We have gotten the 40s to 50 in now as we are now near 1 week out from Christmas & it looks like around Christmas & beyond we should get much colder.  We have seen single digits to lower teens, but no below zero yet.  I expect that in early January.

After being cold for so long, the sun with 40s to lower 50s felt downright balmy today!  This is 9-13 degrees above normal for daily highs.  These are the biggest warm temperature anomalies since the day of the big Illinois tornado outbreak, December 1.  Prior to that, it was October 9! 

Today marked the fifth day of high temperatures at least 2 degrees above normal over the area.  That hasn't happened since early October!

Interestingly, when you compare these warm phases of the MJO in traditional El Nino years with greater solar output, the outcome is much warmer..........like 57-64, not 40s to lower 50s.

Despite the warmer weather of the past few days, it continues to be colder than normal over much of the U.S. for the first half of December.  The exception would be the far northern tier of the country.

Here, it is the coldest first half of December for the viewing area since 2016 & before that, 2013.  2010 is the coldest first half of December in looking at the data 1978-present.  However, unlike this December, the core of the cold temperature anamolies was from Minnesota through our area to the Appalachians then to Florida (up to 20 degrees below normal there).  The western 2/3 of the U.S. was uncredibly warm with temperatures up to 20 degrees above normal in places from Wyoming & Utah to Arizona.

Tomorrow will be around 10-15 colder than it was today, so closer to normal for Monday's highs (34-41 northeast to southwest & around 40 in Greater Lafayette).

Tuesday-Wednesday look dry with increasing clouds.  After seasonably chilly Tuesday at 35-41, we should see 44-50 Wednesday with a south wind.

Rain returns Thursday with a warm up to the upper 40s to 50.

Rain is likely into Thursday & Friday as storm rapidly deepens to our south & southeast.  Wow, if it were just colder, this would be a significant snow for us!  The warm phase MJO is making it so there is little cold air to be had.  It is not record warm anywhere, nor really, really spring-like, but much of the country is just milder than normal.

Note the strong winds on Friday.  As the low shows the deepening, Gusts of 40 mph are likely from the north-northeast, then north.

The rain may end as a period of wet snow, though it looks very minor & brief at the moment.

Still need to watch weak clipper before Christmas & clipper &/or little southern system on Christmas.  Models just flip-flop all over the place on what will transpire, but I go back to 2002 & 2009 during those El Nino Modokis that were in warm, wet MJO phases & how it flipped around Christmas. 

So, snow could occur from these & the stretch of a bit milder weather will come to an end.

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