Monday, December 17, 2012

Between now and the Belk Bowl ...

We're in for a little of everything over the next 10 days, but the overall trend will be from mild to chilly, and there's even some wintry precipitation in the forecast for some of us, probably.

Many people will be traveling this weekend, in advance of the Christmas holiday, and there'll be additional activities next week, including the Belk Bowl football game Dec. 27 in Charlotte.

It looks as if we'll see three rain episodes -- today, Thursday, and Dec. 26 or 27 (that might be more than rain ... we'll deal with that later).  Temperatures will be above average the next four days, then dip gradually and finish below-average by Christmas week.

Let's break it into five parts:

TODAY ... We got some much-needed rainfall Sunday evening and overnight, with many areas receiving a half-inch or more.  There was .58 of an inch in my rain gauge, as of daybreak Monday. Another area of rain will move into the area around midday and continue into this evening.  Overall precipitation totals could be an inch for many people in the Charlotte region.

Temperatures will probably remain in the upper 50s for the rest of the afternoon.

TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY ... This will be one of the quiet periods. Mild Pacific high pressure will dominate the region, with sunny to partly cloudy skies much of the time. Temperatures will be well above average (53 is the average high), climbing into the low 60s Tuesday and the mid 60s Wednesday.

THURSDAY ... A strong cold front will advance on the region. It'll cloud up Thursday, with showers arriving by afternoon. Temperatures will reach about 60 degrees, but it'll be the last mild day for a stretch.

FRIDAY-CHRISTMAS ... Colder air will filter into the Carolinas on Friday. There's a good chance for a northwest-flow snow event in the mountains Friday, with a fetch of cold, unstable air being carried to the Tennessee-North Carolina border from the Great Lakes. That could produce a couple inches of snow in the mountains -- just in time for Christmas.

Down here in the lower elevations, high temperatures will only reach 50 degrees Friday (a gusty breeze will make it seem colder), and then the lower 50s Saturday and Sunday. But it'll be sunny, and those temperatures are average for this time of year.

Incidentally, that cold front will bring strong winds and some heavy snow to parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes. If you're planning travel in that direction late this week, you could have problems.

Gradually cooler air will push into our region Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but a continuation of dry weather is expected. As of now, look for highs in in the upper 40s for Christmas Eve and the low to mid 40s on Christmas Day. It'll be a chilly Christmas.

DEC. 26-27 ... This is where it gets tricky.  The consensus is that a storm system will cross the central and eastern United States.  But the details are unclear.

Certainly, cold air will be in place across the East, and precipitation will be snow somewhere in the Midwest and Great Lakes.  The best bet for the Carolinas, at least in the lower elevations, is for a chilly rain event.

But if cold air damming were to establish itself -- which would happen if strong high pressure were parked in New England on Dec. 26 -- then freezing rain would be a possibility in parts of the Carolinas.

For now, the computer models seem to be indicating temperatures will be in the 40s in the Charlotte region during the precipitation. But we'll be watching this.


Anonymous said...

Let it snow!

Anonymous said...

Last week, the story for the upcoming weekend was it would be lucky to get out of the 30's. (I know because I was planning for the the Sunday Panther game with the Raiders.)

I think maybe just stick to 1-3 days out, because obviously you don't really know.

Anonymous said...

"I'm dreaming of a cold Christmas, just like the ones we used to know." Hopefully cold enough to force even the most ardent riff-raff to not wear faded wife-beater shirts, badly wrinkled cargo shorts, and sandals in public on Christmas Day.

Buzzy Bee said...

Should wear frock coat and top hat on Christmas then...

Let it snow!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like "as of now, look for highs in in the upper 40s for Christmas Eve and the low to mid 40s on Christmas Day. It'll be a chilly Christmas" is a BUST! It will be TEN degrees HIGHER that predicted. As usual, forecasting is a reliable as fortune telling.