Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas forecast starting to take shape

The evolving weather pattern across North America is taking better shape for Christmas week, and we're starting to get a better idea of what to expect during the busy holiday travel period.

No doubt some Carolinas residents will fret over the predicted 70-degree weather this weekend, fearing that could continue into Christmas and ruin their holiday spirit.  Have no fears. A cold front will do away with the 70s late Sunday or Monday, but don't look for arctic air to arrive next.

It now appears as if Christmas will be seasonal in the Carolinas, with highs somewhere in the vicinity of 50 degrees. And there are no signs of really cold weather coming our way through the end of the month. Rather, it looks as if it will be mild, with a few outbreaks of chilly air.

Before Christmas, things could get interesting around here.  More about that later.

The seasonal temperatures in the Carolinas won't be the case off to our west. It appears as if another surge of arctic air will descend into the Rockies and Midwest, then push down into Texas. Christmas week could be quite cold in that part of the country,

As for Christmas travel, I'd bet on the biggest potential for trouble coming in the Midwest and down into the Mid-South.  Snow, sleet or freezing rain would be a possibility at the southern edge of the cold air mass, in places like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

We'll have to keep an eye this weekend on an approaching low pressure system. Some of the computer models are predicting a combination of conditions that could produce severe weather. At the bare minimum, heavy rain will be a possibility, with a strong surge of very mild air being pushed from the Gulf of Mexico into the Southeast.


Anonymous said...

There isn't any such thing as "winter" in this area any more. Temperatures in the fifties at Christmas? I might put on a sweater or light jacket for that.

And Santa? He'll be soaked with sweat in that red and white suit he wears.

We watch all the Christmas films on television or DVD. The Bishop's Wife, A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, and don't forget White Christmas, and all the others.

Christmas is still Christmas here, but wouldn't it be grand to see some snow on the ground and rooftops...even if it was only a few inches and only lasted a day or two?

I don't think that's going to happen here any more, or if it does, it might be every ten years or so.

Pancho Patricio said...

Quit whining. We had a white Christmas 2-3 years ago.

Anonymous said...

AMEN Pancho! Thank you for pointing that out. A White Christmas was so rare when I was a kid. I thought it was quite a surprise. I remember MANY Christmases with temps in the 50s. Christmas of '84 was downright balmy.

John said...

I've lived here 20 years now and many times I've put up the outside decorations in shorts and a t-shirt and then taken them down in January the same way! We had family who thought I was exaggerating until they moved down as well and saw for themselves.

I've lived in Indiana, and I've lived in Miami... much prefer the weather here. Just enough of the seasons without too much of any one! :)

Anonymous said...

@Pancho Patricio 9:43 PM

I'm not whining, dickweed. I remember that snow, and it didn't start until late Christmas Day. There's always someone like you wants to come along and be a smartass.

Anonymous said...

Fifty degrees is fairly chilly, but will it matter since the day will most likely be spent indoors?

Those films present an idealistic (and unrealistic) picture of what a Christmas holiday should look and feel like. Half or more of the United States does not get snow on Christmas. Those snowy images and songs are geared up for Europe and the upper portion of North America. The rest of the world celebrates Christmas in mild or warm weather.

If you do not want to be disappointed, stop comparing our local climate to one of Michigan, upper New York, or Canada. Those I know from those areas tell me they would love to ship their mountains of snow down here!

Merry Christmas!

Tad Weikel said...

I lived on the Gulf Coast growing up, and we had a few Christmas Eves/Days the 70's. It was not what the songs prescribed, nor very appealing, but we lived with it because we could not change it. By comparison, the weather in NC is much in December, so we are pleased.

If you prefer colder weather for this holiday, be glad your chances are greater here than in Alabama, Georgia, or Florida.

Anonymous said...

Very informative Steve. Always like reading your blogs. I hope the Observer is as appreciative as us readers are. Not many "old timers" like you around the industry anymore. Keep up the hard work.

Merry Christmas!

Charlottean said...

To the first person that commented......You must not be from around here! This IS our winter. Warm, chilly, warm, mild, freezing, warm. All of that can happen in a matter of 48 hours. That's life here in Charlotte, NC. Welcome!

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see how many different systems effect our weather in NC.

Tad said...

If you dislike mild weather for Christmas, and think NC is too fickle, you should live in Florida where winter/Christmas is warm, warm, mild, cool, warm, hot, hot, hot, warm, cool, hot, etc...

Be thankful for what you have.

Anonymous said...

Be glad it will only be in the low 50's. It could be worse. Be glad that warm snap will be gone by Dec 24.

Roast on Christmas said...

This forecast was a bust lasytyear, and will be this year as well. Mark it down.

Anonymous said...

Dec 20-23 (2013) = sloppy, muggy, sorry weather.