December 23, 11 PM Weather Forecast Update

Some snow/mix to rain, then a big warm, wet system later next week....We then examine January.

Posted: Dec 23, 2018 7:08 PM
Updated: Dec 23, 2018 11:35 PM

With rather breezy conditions, highs today ran 34-39.  This is near normal for the time of year.

Monday will be a decent, pretty seasonable December day.  With lots of sunshine, followed by dimming/fading sun late in the day due to increasing high/mid clouds, highs will run 35-40.  This not too far from normal for the time of year.  Winds will be west at 10-13 mph.

It will become cloudy tomorrow night with temperatures leveling off at 27-32 with a light south wind.

Some light snow, possible mixed with some light sleet & freezing rain is possible in the 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. frame Christmas Day.  Some very minor accumulation is possible as a dusting of snow & a trace of ice.

This bit of snow will not last long at all.  It will melt quickly as temperatures reach 33 by 9 a.m. & 36 by noon.  A few chilly rain showers are possible noon to 2 p.m. before it all ends.  Some clearing will follow late afternoon-evening.

Highs will reach 36-42 with a south wind at 5-8 mph.

Wednesday looks dry with 38-45 as clouds increase.  Winds look light from the southeast.

Rain is likely Thursday to Friday morning.  Heaviest looks to fall Thursday afternoon-evening with potential of an isolated rumble of thunder.

Strong, gusty southeast to south, then southwest winds to 35 mph at times will occur Thursday-Thursday night.

Once the main rains exit early Friday morning, we should clear as dry slots comes in.

With this dry slot, cumulus clouds will likely develop in the morning as the wind become more west-southwesterly.  Actual cold front should pass late morning-midday with the potential of a narrow line of gusty showers.  However, we may reach the 54-58 before this occurs. 

After this, temperatures should fall in the afternoon into the 40s & then to upper 30s by evening as low clouds pivot in from the northwest.  Winds will shift from the west-southwest to the west, then northwest with gusts still up to 30 mph in the afternoon.

Some scattered flurries & snow showers are possible with lows clouds Friday night with lows in the 20s.

Total rainfall from this system should run 0.70-1.10" over the viewing area.

It looks like a lot of low clouds (though it does not look like a completley solid overcast all day, but breaks off & on) will linger into Saturday with highs only 28-33.  Some scattered flurries & snow showers may continue.  Winds look northerly at 10-15 mph.

As skies clear Saturday night, lows of 15-20 are likely, followed by lots of sunshine on Sunday.  However, highs will only reach 29-34.  Winds look light to calm for much of the day before becoming southwest late at 5-10 mph.

We then watch for a powerhouse storm system to impact the area somewhere in the December 31-January 2 time period.  Dominant precipitation type is in question & hinges on the exact track.

Still looks like a colder pattern evolving then with Arctic air bleeding in with highs in the 20s & 30s & lows in the teens.

Beyond January 2, it looks like Arctic high will dominate the entire eastern half of the U.S. right to January 6.  Given potential snowpack, below zero temperatures are possible.  The U.S. models are finally catching up to this notion we are thinking with bitter cold in January.

The Euro has been the best with this, while other models have been decent.  Our U.S. models have struggled with the cold notion, but are coming around...........................except the atrocious CFS model.  It still has warmth for much of the U.S. right to January 11.  It doesn't really bring temperatures much below normal at all until around January 24!  I do not agree with it.

It makes no sense.  All of the teleconnectic indices & analogs support waves of Arctic air & a colder & snowier than normal January.

I really think it will look like this for January overall temperature-wise (these are all the Januarys that match this one this best since 1900).  If I would alter anything to this anlaog map, it would be to shift the core of the warmth in the west toward Washington, Oregon & Idah & make it a hair cooler in Arizona & far southern California.

This is how all of those winters' Decembers looked; warmer over northwest half of the U.S. & colder than normal over the southeastern half.  We came up to near to just a hair below normal temperature-wise when all of these years were combined.

I came up with persistent cold & above-normal snowfall December 1 to Christmas then suddently WARM with rain, thunder & 50s December 26-31 when I made the winter outlook. 

It has been more like persistent cold overall until December 10, then mild (especially at night) & snowfall below normal (totals range from a trace to 2").

Nothing Earth-shattering or record-breaking, but the mildness has been with us for nearly two weeks.  We have seen 12 consecutive days at West Lafayette where the overnight low as not dropped below 20. We had 11 consecutive days with a high temperature of at least 40 until yesterday's 39.  The highest we have been is 51, when record highs are well into the 60s. 

The persistence of the mild weather, however, has driven our monthly mean temperature for the viewing area as a while to around 1 degree above normal.

This was a thing this summer in the eastern & southeastern U.S.  The hotter than normal summer was not driven by above normal daily highs so much, but warm, muggy, persistently sultry overnights.  The above normal rainfall & persistent Bermuda high moisture pump led to the very warm low temperatures that skewed the mean temperature to quite a bit above normal from our area, all the way through the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic & into the Southeast.

I think between the warmth later this week & the sharp cold coming, we may end up with a normal December temperature-wise.

Snowfall-wise, well, normal is 4-8" over the viewing area & again, we've only seen trace-2".

Precipitation-wise with these analog years.................

I do not think it will be as dry in the Lower Mississippi Valley as this map shows & I think the East Coast should have precipitation a bit above normal.  Otherwise, I can go with this.

Here is how their Decembers looked precipitation wise:

You can see the magnitude of the cold with subtropical jet pumping some moisture northward leading to potential icy mix & snow from Arkansas to Mississippi, Alabama & Georgia.  Flakes could get as far south as the Alabama-Florida state line.

With dry weather for a good 3-4 days with brilliant sunshine, bitter cold nights (below zero possible) & cold days (teens & 20s) seem likely.

We will probably see temperature moderation January 8-10 with highs even getting to 35-40 perhaps. 

Colder pattern should return after that with clipper pattern of snows mid-month. 

Just following that, analog points to a turbulent time of winter storms & bitter cold January 17-26 before moderating some.  One of these could transition to a major Nor'Easter with 1-3 feet of snow over the Mid-Atlantic & parts of the Northeast. 

This will set the stage for some intense cold in February & multiple winter storms.  February should be the worst of the three winter months.

The lingering cold & snow should last right into March, but I DO NOT think it will last into April like last year.  In fact, we will probably go from unseasonably cold weather with bare trees & no good sign of spring to sudden spring with above normal temperatures in April.

I went for a warmer & drier than normal May, but a wetter & a bit cooler than normal summer.

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