Thursday, December 21, 2023

Not a White Christmas, but a Wet Christmas

As fall officially turns to winter, temperatures are (of course!) warming as we head into a long Christmas weekend. I think we'll take that if the other option is what we had last year - frozen pipes and rolling blackouts! The trade-off is going to be rainy conditions off and on through the weekend. Let's talk about it.

Temperature in Bartlett just before 6am on December 23, 2022 (-0.3°)

As high pressure that brought us cold weather earlier this week slides to our east, wind has shifted to the south, resulting in warmer air over the Mid-South. Low pressure will develop to the west and moisture will increase from the Gulf of Mexico. That will mean less itchy, dry skin as dewpoints have risen from the teens a couple of days ago into the 30s by Friday, and eventually the 40s to 50s later this weekend. 

With the increase in moisture, small rain chances in the form of hit-and-miss brief showers will pop up late Friday and into the weekend. Outdoor plans through much of the weekend, until Sunday evening, should not be overly impacted, and the mild temperatures will make for pleasant conditions for outdoor activities outside of breezy south wind. Just keep in mind that a shower could pop up about anytime 

A loop of the surface weather maps from Friday morning through Tuesday morning, showing 

The main event from the next system will occur on Sunday evening though Monday morning - Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. Heavy rain is likely at times overnight Sunday night and a few rumbles of thunder are even possible. (It may not be reindeer hooves on the roof you hear that night!) Severe thunderstorms are not expected as the primary low pressure center passes well to our north and instability will be limited. Some showers appear to linger into Christmas Day, but could be departing by the afternoon hours. Still too early to know... stay tuned to the MWN Forecast for updates throughout the next few days. The rest of the intra-holiday week looks to be dry and cooler again.

And for those asking about winter weather in early January, it's ENTIRELY too early to even discuss...

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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