Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Delivering A Christmas Storm?

Very quiet weather is expected the rest of the week and into the weekend which puts all eyes on a much more active week of weather into Christmas next week.  For nearly a week now, the overall global weather pattern has been hinting that an intrusion of colder air would be likely into late December.  This combined with an active parade of Pacific Coast storms, conditions may ripen for a powerful storm that may disrupt holiday travel and Christmas plans.  

Animation of Christmas Eve Day into Christmas Day

Long range models...albeit still 7 days out have locked into some relative degree of consistency for a storm over the Great Lakes on Christmas Eve

ECMWF -- 192 Hour Forecast (MSLP Low of ~ 972 mb)
ECMWF -- 192 Hour Forecast 500mb Vorticity

GFS -- 192 Hour Forecast (MSLP Low of ~ 980 mb)

GFS -- 192 Hour Forecast 500mb Vorticity

  • So what does this type of information tell us now? 
    •  There will likely be a storm impacting the area the middle of next week. However this storm is over 1 week away and details will change. Simply be alert and prepared, this is just an early heads-up.  Many details and specifics will be determined over the coming days. 
  • What can I expect?
    • Rain to snow and gusty winds all will be possible.
  • Will holiday travel be impacted?
    • Yes, impacts to air travel and travel on the roads possible.
  • When will this storm hit our area?
    • Still early to tell, and timing will be adjusted, but Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day may face adverse weather conditions.
  • How much snow will we get?
    • Way too early to tell!  Don't ask and don't believe anyone if they tell you.  In fact, not even sure if this will be rain or snow or a mix of both.  As with any winter storm, only trust reasonable snow forecasts 48 hour out!
  • Will this bring a White Christmas?
    • It's certainly possible Santa may deliver more than presents Christmas Eve.