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Mild Weekend, Possible Winter Storm for Christmas.

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In my discussion yesterday, I dealt specifically with some of the forecast issues surrounding the Christmas time period. Unfortunately, little has changed over the last 24 hours and there continues to be considerable uncertainty regarding the path of a potential winter storm and the impacts it would have. As mentioned before, the storm system in question is still out over the Pacific Ocean where the observational data base is weakest and we will not really have a good sampling of just how strong it is till it makes landfall over the weekend. As a result, the forecast guidance continues to flip-flop from a no-snow event to a heavy snow event and just about everything in between.

All things considered, it does appear that much, if not all, of Green Country will receive at least some snow during Christmas Day and perhaps into that night. Whether it will amount to just a dusting or something much more significant depends on the precise track and intensity of the storm system aloft and those details will not be sorted out for at least another day or two.

In the meantime, we will have some very mild weather over the course of the weekend. Sunny skies with just a few high level cirrus clouds should result in daytime highs ranging from the upper 50s to the lower 60s on Saturday. Brisk southerly winds and the dry air in place will also result in an enhanced fire danger situation.

Sunday will start to cool off somewhat, although still milder than normal. A weak cool front will arrive during the morning hours shifting our winds back around to northerly which should keep daytime temperatures in the lower 50s.

Those northerly winds will keep us even cooler on Christmas Eve with daytime highs at or below normal along with an increase in cloud cover as the day wears on. By Christmas morning, don't be surprised if some snow is falling and we expect to have a real short thermometer. Morning lows in the 20s and daytime highs in the lower 30s along with a brisk NE wind of 10-20 mph will make for a very raw day.

The day after Christmas will also be cold and raw with temperatures struggling to get above freezing during the day and a gusty north wind making it feel even colder. Any lingering light snow or flurries should have ended by that morning followed by clearing skies during the day.

Bottom line is that for those with extensive travel plans over the Mon-Wed time period, please pay close attention to the weather as this system could pose some significant travel hazards, or it could pose very few travel hazards. It could go either way as things stand now.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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