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December 19, 11 PM Weather Forecast Update

Rain, snow & wind & opportunities for snow down the road with bitterly cold weather in January.

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 7:34 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2018 10:49 PM

With a gradual increase in the clouds today with sunshine, highs reached 48-52.  Normal is 35-38.  Record highs for the date are generally 59-64 (records back to the late 1800s).  The West Lafayette record high for the date is 61 set in 1895 (records back to 1879).

A few spotty showers are possible tomorrow morning, midday & to tomorrow early afternoon.  Coverage will only run around 40% & there will be quite a bit of dry time.  Skies will be cloudy with southerly winds at 13-25 mph  Rain should really overspread area mid to late afternoon with highs reaching 45-48.

It will be steady through evening.

As winds go calm, areas of fog may develop in the evening & last into the early overnight before the wind goes to the north-northeast & increases rapidly after 10 p.m.

On Friday, the rain will change to snow from northwest to southeast in the 6-10 a.m. time period as temperatures fall from the 35-40 range to 32-34.

The light snow will be wind-driven as northerly winds gust 35-40 mph at times through the morning & into the afternoon.  Some very minor accumulation is possible.  Roads will remain wet.

Some light snow will continue into the evening & even as late as the early overnight hours as temperatures drop to 27-30 by 8 p.m. & 26-29 by midnight.  This could result in a few slick spots as any moisture begins to freeze on the pavement & a thin veneer of snow may accumulate on lesser-traveled roadways.

Total accumulation of less than 0.5" is possible on grassy & elevated surfaces.  It is not out of the question that a few localized areas in our far eastern counties see up to near 1".

Some clearing will follow by very late Friday night-early Saturday morning with lows 21-25 with winds decreasing to 15-25 mph.  It will still knock wind chills down to 6-12 degrees by early Saturday morning.

Note the weak clipper with some snow over Iowa, southwestern Minnesota & the Dakotas.  That will pivot southeastward & bring us perhaps a few snow showers & flurries Sunday.  That, after partly cloudy, breezy conditions Saturday & highs in the 30s & lows in the 20s. 

Highs Sunday, with increasing clouds & some of those flakes, will reach the 30s.  No snowfall accumulation is currently expected Sunday.

After 20s Sunday night, clouds will be on the increase Monday (Christmas Eve).  Lows should reach the upper 20s for Monday night.

Now...................will it snow on Christmas?

My analog data for similar years continue to show high likelihood of it &............

The European model has been consistent & steadfast with accumulating snowfall on Christmas Day.  In fact, it paints significant snowfall as system merges with a southern disturbance.

U.S. Navy model is on-board with snow & sort of a scenario like the European with the clipper merges with a southern disturbance & a nice moisture feed for snow.

Canadian models have backed off, however.  Japan's JMA has backed off to nothing, too.  The FIN has dusting in the northern counties.

GFS Ensembles show 9 or 20 members showing snow in the area sometime right around Christmas.  Some have it Christmas Day, some more like Christmas Eve. 

The models seem to be having trouble with so many moving parts.  They are torn between either absorbing this Christmas system in the the bigger on for Wednesday-Friday or keeping it distinctly separate.  They also seem to struggle with the weak Sunday clipper. Some want to somehow take that out of the equation or have a merger of just one system passing Sunday, Monday or Tuesday with snow.  Again, there are just several moving parts in rapid succesion before the bigger system.

I would say that the potential is a little higher tonight for Christmas snow, but still not solid enough to warrant probability of more than 40% on the 7-day.  We will know more tomorrow & Friday for sure!

We need to watch around New Years for icy mix &/or snow.  Potential is there for a system to from on the tail end of an Arctic front that will come through late next week.

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