Highs Sunday will only be in the mid 40s. Simliar weather is expected for Monday and Tuesday with highs struggling to get much higher than the mid 40s thanks to a N/NW wind and high pressure overhead.

On average, our temperatures this time of the year are in the mid 50s. So these tempeartures are about 5-10 degrees below average! Overnight, lows will be in the 30s and 20s inland.

You’ll notice that late in the week – temperatures do climb back to above average. This happens as our next weather system approaches. With an area of low pressure to our north, we’ll see warmer air drawn in from the south. Rain is likely late Wed night into Thursday.

We may see a break in the rain late Thursday before more rain moves in on Friday.

Friday is the day we’ve been watching for any snow potential and watching the trends. Over the past 24-36 hours, the trend has been for a warmer system and less snow potential. As the rain moves through, cold air will be chasing it. We call this a cold air chasing moisture setup. Often, it doesn’t work out for us as the moisture typically moves faster than the colder air and doesn’t allow for much more than a light snow. Could this change? Sure – it’s still several days away – but I wouldn’t get too excited right now.

One of the best things to look at in long range forecasting are ensemble models. These ensemble models allow for us to look at possibile outcomes and then make a probability based forecast. You can think of them similar to spaghetti models with hurricanes. It shows us possible outcomes. From there, we’re then able to see how many have something (like 1″ of snow) and make a probability.

The two ensemble models we typically look at – the European Ensemble and the GFS Ensemble both had 20-30% probabilities yesterdy. Today, they’re showing only 3-6%.

No matter if we see any snow or not, this sytem is BIG and will cause rain/snow over a large part of the eastern US. Travel delays are likely late in the week. For us, cold temperatures are likely for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Highs may struggle to get out of the 30s. Hope you get a nice coat for Christmas!

Meteorologist Ricky Matthews

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