Saturday, December 15, 2012

Next Week and Into Christmas

This is the time of year I get frustrated with Mother Nature.  You can expect hot weather every summer, but it seems so tough to get true cold weather in the winter.  Last winter was horrible for snow lovers and I think we're all on the verge of throwing in the towel this winter, but we have to remember, it's still mid December.  There's plenty of winter in front of us!

Half way through the month, it's the 2nd warmest December in terms of average high temperature, average low temperature, and average monthly temperature.  While this could change by the end of the month, there are no signs of true cold air that sticks around.  I'll explain below.

Just looking at the forecast over the next 7 days here are my thoughts and the things that stand out.  

First, near record breaking temperatures this afternoon (Saturday) and Sunday.  While we most likely will not achieve the 78 degree record high Sunday set in 1924, it will be within a few degrees.  

Next, the cold front coming through dropping temperatures Monday and Tuesday will take temperatures down, but they will stay above average.  This will only keep us on track for one of the warmest Decembers on record.

Next, a strong area of low pressure will develop to our west around mid week.  The air mass ahead of this feature will be able to warm significantly IF we keep low clouds away.  Right now the models have us in the mid and upper 60s, BUT I think temperatures will have the potential to rise into he 70s!  The record Wednesday is 74 in 1978 and it will be challenged in my opinion.

Rain and storms will accompany the front Wednesday night into Thursday morning.  The modeling shows readings only dropping into the low to mid 50s behind it, but I think there's the potential to have highs in the upper 40s behind it with windy conditions too.  In my opinion.... BIG DEAL!  sarcasm noted here.   Remember, the average high is in the low 50s so that's where we should be this time of year!  The Euro seems more impressive with the shot of colder air, but only time will tell.  

So what about after that?  That air mass should behave like all the others.... in and out.  It has no holding power.  UGGHHHHH.  That takes us to Christmas which is still very much in the long term.  As of today, I have taken the chance for a white Christmas down to a 5% chance in Little Rock due to the nature of the pattern.  I have maps below to back up my thoughts, which I hope are wrong.  You won't hear a weatherman say that often eh?  BRING ON THE COLD MOM NATURE! sigh.

This is the GFS midday Wednesday. The black lines are isobars and there's low pressure over the southern plains.  Look at the faint gray arrows.  A significant southwesterly flow ahead of this storm system COULD send temperatures back into the 70s!  There's a good snow shaping up across Colorado into Nebraska!  That could be important to lay down snow fields up north.  Down the road, if we get more cold air, this keeps it from modifying on its journey south.

By Thursday AM, the low pressure area is over Lake Michigan and it's turning colder and windy here.  On the back side of that surface low, the pressure gradient signifies northerly winds and falling temperatures.  It's snowing in Missouri to Wisconsin.  Again... This helps keep the cold air, cold when it comes south.

Let's fast forward to the Christmas map (GFS).  I'll only explain this if you agree not to look at this as a forecast, but just more entertainment.  Agree?  I say that because when you're 10 days out, this WILL change 1000000000000000 times before then.  Get the point?  Anyway, this does show a surface low over the Gulf bringing moisture into Arkansas, but according to this, it's liquid and not frozen.  HOWEVER, there is a pressing cold air mass coming out of Canada on this map.  See the black closed lines up top?  That's a surface high sending cold air south. 

10 days out on the European model and as you would expect, there's no agreement with the Euro.  It shows a southerly flow and milder temperatures.  A system is developing over the SW United States with a cold air mass into the Great Lakes and it's directed away from us.   UGGGHHHHHHH. 


Tam said...

I have a feeling any significant snow this season is just not going to happen. If we get anything it will be light or will end up being ice instead of snow.

Anonymous said...

This weather stinks... Its december for crying out loud not april... Its wayyyyyyyyyyy to qarm.... Todd send the warm air away until spring.... Bring us wintry weather...