After a long period of unseasonably cold weather from early October to early December, with some of the coldest overall temperatures & greatest snowfall frequency so early in the season in 46 years, we have turned mild. It is not record warmth, but it has been consistently mild for a good 9-10 days now with 40s dominating. So, for the December 1-21 period, we are balancing out to temperature near to very slightly above normal (0.5 to 1 degrees above normal) over the viewing area.
Precipitation is running near to slightly below normal.
Snowfall is running below normal for December after a robust start to the snow season in November.
Patchy light snow & flurries are possible tonight, mainly in our northeastern counties. Interestingly, the bulk of the light snow is falling east & southeast of here. That is were some minor accumulation will occur. We are not looking at any. Southeast Indiana, parts of Ohio to Kentucky will see the snow.
The bulk of the upper troughiness & cold air aloft for good crystal development has been east & southeast of us today.
Lows tonight will drop into the mid to upper 20s.
After partly to mostly cloudy skies for Saturday, with highs 35-40, it will become cloudy in the evening with areas of light snow & drizzle developing by late evening. This will change to some patchy light snow & some freezing drizzle overnight. Some scattered snow showers & flurries may last into the early half of Sunday. Any accumulation would be light.
After lows in the 20s to around 30, highs will run in the 30s Sunday.
Note our weak clipper Saturday night-Sunday & how a wave from the southern Plains tends to merge with it & pressures begin to drop on the lee side of the Appalachians & then off-shore from Maryland & Delaware. This newly-developing system could bring accumulating snowfall from parts of Kentucky to the northern mid-Atlantic & Northeast, just missing our area.
Oh it this would just occur farther northwest, it would bring a nice snow just before Christmas!
Christmas Day may have some patchy rain/snow. Any accumulation would be very minor.
Big powerhouse storm is in store for Wednesday late, Thursday to Friday morning. Widespread rainfall will occur with the heaviest rainfall Thursday afternoon. Strong southeast to southwest, then west to northwest winds will accompany the passage of the system with gusts to 33 mph.
An unusual heavy winter rainfall event for the Plains is expected. It is quite uncommon to find some +2" rainfall in Kansas & eastern Nebraska to Iowa in winter! The +3" amounts expected Louisiana to Alabama & Georgia are not as uncommon in winter.
0.70-1.10" rainfall is possible here.
Beyond that, we will watch a storm system that may impact our area around New Years.
GFS Ensembles show a potent storm system with mix &/or snow.
What on Earth is going on with the U.S. long-range computer models? The U.S. CFS is atrocious! It has had extreme warmth expected for much of the winter. This run shows January 8-11 highs temperatures around 30-35 degrees above normal from Arkansas to Pennsylvania & temperatures to 45 degrees above normal in Ontario & Quebec!
It is the same for around January 18 & it has insane warmth for much of January for much of the country. This, in a low-solar, El Nino Modoki winter. It does not make any sense. I do not know what what keeps making it such a blazing warming model. This has been the case for several winters.
30-35 degrees above normal here would mean highs around 65-70. Such anomalies in Arkansas would equate to around 80 to the lower 80s. I find this impossible, especially given the warmth duration.
Now, give me high, high solar, extreme record El Nino or extreme record La Nina, all other parameters showing warmth (including a warm phase MJO & good analog agreement) & I might go with this.
The only other time in my career I have agreed with such heat insanity was in February 2012 when the magnitude of the extreme March "heat wave" looked to be on the horizon. The Euro pinpointed that one the best!
The European model looks more like this for the same time period as the extreme warmth shown in the CFS (I agree with the Euro more:
I am more in line with a much colder, snowier January (bit below normal precipitation can still give you above normal snowfall).
My analogs look like this: