A tranquil start to the week but will that last through Christmas?

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Main Threats

The week looks rather tranquil, with no major threats, though Friday night will have to be monitored for the chance of wintry precipitation. That’s still several days out, so there’s plenty of time to watch that.

Summary

First of all, I have a new section at the end of this blog called “Christmas Forecast”, where I’ll be updating you on that forecast as we approach the big day.

We’ll have lots of sun to look at today! I think we can look for that sun to hang around through tomorrow and most of the day Wednesday. Then, like clockwork, our next storm system begins taking shape across the southern plains. That system will begin moving on on Thursday, bringing widespread rainfall. This rain does not look to be incredibly heavy, so no flooding issues are expected.

This next system is looking remarkably similar to our last system. The only difference is that there is a bit more colder air on the backside of this one. So, instead of getting cold rain at 40 degrees, like we did part of Saturday, we could be looking at snow showers and 30 degrees. I’ll keep an eye on it. Right now it doesn’t look like a big deal, but it doesn’t take much to make for some tricky travel.

Records

Remember the ice storm we had a few years ago? Well, on this day in 1924 an ice storm as bad as the one we had struck central Illinois. Many places had up to two inches of ice. Our ice storm came in late February, when the warmth of spring is knocking at the door. The ice storm that struck Illinois on this day hit at the beginning of winter. Ice remained on the trees until January 4th! Power was not fully restored to the area until January 10th!

Five years later, a historic ice storm struck western New York state on this day. A Buffalo, New York news story stated that, “One was kept awake by the breaking limbs, which snapped off with a report much louder than a rifle shot.”  Some of you know what that’s like, right?

On a lighter note!

In 2008, a snowstorm struck Las Vegas, Nevada on this day! The desert city recorded 3.6 inches of snow, setting a December record for snowfall. The snowstorm prompted the closure of schools and highways, especially since the city has no means of removing snow. This was the largest snow to fall on the city since 7.5 inches fell in January of 1979.

Almanac

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Sunrise: 6:44

Sunset: 4:28

Day Length: 9 hrs 43 mins 25 secs

Tomorrow’s Day Length: 9 hrs 43 mins 15 secs

One Year Ago Today

A year ago today we were cloudy and cold. The high of 43 occurred in the afternoon, after a morning low of 33. There was no precipitation and winds were light.

News

Well, we had an opportunity to see a comet last night but the fog became a serious hindrance to that viewing. Skies were a bit too slow to clear, too.

In other news…

The city of Wilmington, North Carolina has shattered a record that had stood for 140 years! On Saturday, they surpassed the 100-inch mark for rainfall this year. The previous annual rainfall record was 83.65″ in 1877.

Hurricane Florence and her record-breaking rainfall was the main culprit, along with an above-average year of rainfall for the region.

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Christmas Forecast

So, we’re a little over a week away from the big day and models are trying to tell us a story about Christmas. As I’ve said all along, long-term indications were for temperatures to be above normal. That does not bode well for a white Christmas. However, even with outlooks of warmer overall temperatures, that does not mean we will be warm the whole time.

It’s those bouts of cold air that we have to watch, especially if you’re looking for white Christmas.

You can tell a lot about the Christmas forecast from paying attention to the pattern we’re in now. We had a storm system the end of last week, we’ll have another the end of this week. Models are showing a similar pattern for next week. So, right now, I think Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be fine, since they’re at the beginning of the week. This is assuming this pattern holds and I think it will.

So, if I had to make a forecast for Christmas this FAR out, I’d say….

Partly to mostly cloudy, with highs around 50. 

Let’s see how this forecast evolves over the coming days!

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