Monday, December 21, 2020

Winter officially arrives today, but cold winter air waits until Christmas. How about winter precip?

Quick outlook

Pleasant weather for the first half of the week, rain chances Wednesday, then clear and cold for Christmas.

First half of the week

As winter officially arrives (Monday morning at 4:02am), Monday thru Wednesday will be nice with a return of southerly winds which will bring highs near 60.  Skies will be clear for Monday and most of Tuesday, with increasing clouds Tuesday night.  By Wednesday morning, a cold front will be located from Minnesota and south into the Southern Plains, with rain chances increasing as the front pushes east into more humid conditions across the lower Mississippi Valley.

Wednesday morning surface map

Wednesday cold front

This front will push into the Mid-South Wednesday around sunset with rain chances and windy conditions arriving Wednesday, particularly in the afternoon and evening.  Behind the front, much colder temperatures will quickly push in on a cold northwest wind.  There also will be the potential for some winter weather in far northern Tennessee, but any winter precipitation would be light and not likely to affect the metro. Expect rainfall to diminish by midnight Wednesday night before the coldest air arrives. 

Christmas Outlook

As documented on this blog previously, a White Christmas is extremely rare in Memphis. And this year, despite the chill, will not buck the "sNOw" trend. Christmas Eve (Thursday) and Christmas Day (Friday) will be much colder than the temperatures we will have had in the first part of the week, with highs near 40 and lows near freezing Thursday morning and in the low 20's Christmas morning.  It will be clear, with no precipitation in the forecast.  So Santa will have clear skies and chilly weather as he makes his trip thru the Mid-South!

Weekend outlook

Thankfully, the weekend will be a bit warmer. Saturday will see highs pushing 50 degrees under sunny skies after sub-freezing morning lows. Sunday will be a bit warmer (in the 50s) but with rain chances again as the next frontal system arrives.

Richard Hoseney
MWN Meteorologist

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