Don't get excited about seeing some snow flurries first thing Wednesday morning. This is a quick hitting system and although temperatures will be near the freezing mark to start the day, clearing skies by this afternoon will provide enough sunshine for temperatures to reach the 40s for daytime highs. In other words, even if some locations do have a dusting of snow to start the day it will be long gone before the day is over. Gusty NW winds for much of the day will also make it feel cooler than the actual air temperature so keep that in mind as well.
If you have travel plans anywhere around the state, no problems are anticipated for Christmas Eve nor for Christmas Day, nor the day after for that matter. The only real issue will be the wind. As mentioned, we will have a brisk NW wind for much of Christmas Eve but those winds will be calming down that evening and night. Christmas Day will have a light southerly wind first thing in the morning but those winds will quickly strengthen and will likely be gusting to 30 mph or more by late morning through the afternoon. That will result in very mild temperatures and although the day will start near freezing, afternoon highs well into the 50s are expected. Those relatively warm temperatures together with the gusty southerly winds will also contribute to a high fire danger situation.
The next cold front has been delayed somewhat and the guidance now suggests it will be moving through our part of the state later in the day Friday. That means Friday will also be quite mild with morning lows in the 40s and daytime highs in the 50s before the colder air arrives that afternoon/evening. There will also be a slight chance of a few showers on Friday but that will be all liquid.
Saturday is a different story as the longer range guidance is not on the same page by then. It will be colder with a brisk northerly wind, but at least one of the longer range models is suggesting the potential for some wintry precipitation during the day. The other solution is dry, so for now will call for cloudy skies, temperatures only near 40 for a daytime high, and at least a possibility of precipitation. The details will be sorting themselves out with subsequent model runs over the next day or two.
However, after that we have a generally cold forecast going into New Years Day itself. Temperatures are expected to be well below normal throughout that period. To put things into perspective, the normal temperature range during that period is 47/28 for the max/min temperature and it looks like we will generally be 10 degrees or so below those numbers during the day and in the low-mid 20s at night. Not much in the way of active weather is currently foreseen though.
Also, it looks like sunshine will continue to be a rare commodity with some afternoon sunshine tomorrow, at least some sun to start the day Christmas Day before the clouds move back in, and mostly cloudy to at times partly cloudy skies at best through the weekend and into that following week.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.