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Bitter Cold Coming for Christmas

Bitter Cold Coming for Christmas

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From rain to snow, near-record warmth to bitter cold, the time between now and Christmas has it all! Each day will offer something different, so here’s my break-down of what to expect between now and the end of the year.

                First up is the risk of dense fog tonight. Low-level moisture is further increasing. Matched with cool, near-saturated air and clear skies today, we’ve got the recipe for the soup after 9pm tonight. This could last into Tuesday morning for parts of northeast Oklahoma as well. Use extreme caution if traveling late tonight across the area, including in Tulsa. Below is a model projection of visibility in miles by midnight.

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                Next up, is the chance of rain. A fast-moving upper-level low pressure will skirt by the state, bringing a round or two of moderate rainfall to the area. Tulsa will be on the northern edge of the heavier rains. That means we could end up with half an inch in the city. South of I-40, rainfall amounts between 1” and 2” will be common. This is a Godsend for an area plagued by a worsening drought. Below, you’ll see a timeline for rain chances in the metro area.

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Once this system moves out Wednesday morning, skies will clear enough for some of that solstice sunshine. Even at its lowest angle if the year, the sun will help to warm us into the 60s Wednesday and near 70° by Thursday. Should we hit that mark, we’ll tie a record high for the first day of winter! Ironic?

Winter catches up to us the following day with a strong cold front arriving Thursday night. That will put an end to above-normal temperatures for quite a while. A few showers are possible Friday, but the main story heading into the holiday weekend will be the temperature tumble. An even stronger, deeper push of Arctic air arrives Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. This means high temperatures won’t even break above freezing by Christmas with wind chill values below 0° during the morning hours early next week. Get ready for the deep freeze by taking precautions with your pets, pipes and personal well-being. It’ll be time for the heaviest coats!  Quite a difference a year makes when last Christmas we were basking in 70° warmth! Needless to say, this will be a shock to our system.

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Perhaps the most talked-about weather topic will be the chance of snow this weekend. The air will really dry out behind the cold front, but a wave of energy will slide past the state, possibly squeezing out some snowflakes in the process. From late Saturday into Christmas Eve Day, a band of light snow may push over Green Country, possibly turning it a bit white. This set-up is also not locked-in. We have seen lots of variation in the weather pattern with big differences in where snow, if any, shows up. What seems fairly certain is that any accumulation should be light.  In short though, we do have a slight chance of a White Christmas this year… hopefully without any major travel issues! Below is a broad-brushed look at the Christmas Eve snow potential. The last White Christmas in Tulsa was 8 years ago.

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Beyond Christmas, Green Country continues to be under the influence of Arctic air. Temperatures appear to moderate some as we close out the year, but overall, the final week of 2017 appears to be colder than normal. The pattern looks quieter in this stretch, but any moisture coming our way would likely pose a risk of wintry weather.

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For more on this wintry blast, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.

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