Once again, Merry Christmas! And, for those of you pining for a White Christmas, notice the chart on the right which gives a general idea of where there is at least some snow on the ground this Christmas Day. Notice the snow is unusually far south and many areas are having a White Christmas for the first time in decades. As for us, we did receive a few reports of some brief flurries this morning, but it obviously did not last long.
Now, if we can just get rid of these clouds. They were supposed to be long gone by now and obviously that is not the case. We do expect the clouds to be thinning out during the overnight hours and that means a clear, cold start to Sunday morning as the winds will be diminishing as well. Sunny skies and a light NE wind will make Sunday a little more pleasant, but temperatures will still struggle to get much above freezing.
Southerly winds will return on Monday and become quite gusty by later in the week. That means a warming trend and the trajectory of those winds suggests we will also see a quick return of low level, stratus clouds on Tuesday. The clouds will complicate the temperature forecast for the rest of the week, but we will still be much warmer than normal by Wed and Thursday. Notice in particular how much warmer the overnight low temperatures will be which is a reflection of moisture return from the Gulf of Mexico. That should translate into a decent shot at showers and thunderstorms when the next cold front arrives.
When that next cold front arrives is the big question mark right now. The longer range guidance is all over the place in that regard so I opted for the Ensemble solution which hopefully has smoothed out some of the erratic solutions from the more operational guidance. At any rate, the latter part of this week looks to be unsettled and could get quite interesting. Once the cold front does arrive, temperatures will be much below normal once again and that should be just in time for the New Year's weekend.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.