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In the video above we get Carolyn and Eden out on the slopes with skies for the first time at Chestnut Mountain. From advice from instructor Bill, to proper clothes and equipment, to the right mind-set, they both tackle the slopes with confidence. Carolyn was told she was a natural and of course had to prove it by going all the way...(to the bottom that is). As she tells it, she only ended up on her own "bottom" once. What a daredevil.


Last night the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) paid a visit to parts of the northern hemisphere. They were not visible this far south but in this hi-res satellite image you can see them arching across the skies of Canada in the upper portion of the image. The Great Lakes are visible to the south as well as the many city lights over the eastern half of the U.S.. It's easy to pick out the metro lights of Chicago and Minneapolis

On the ground scenes similar to this were found from Alaska to Norway.and Iceland.




The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) and Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) are the result of electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. (Protons cause faint and diffuse aurora, usually not easily visible to the human eye.) The electrons are energized through acceleration processes in the downwind tail of the magnetosphere and at lower altitudes along auroral field lines. The accelerated electrons follow the magnetic field of Earth down to the Polar Regions where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms and molecules in Earth’s upper atmosphere. In these collisions, the electrons transfer their energy to the atmosphere thus exciting the atoms and molecules to higher energy states. When they relax back down to lower energy states, they release their energy in the form of light. This is similar to how a neon light works

Without a doubt the Aurora is one of the coolest phenomenon I've ever witnessed. Right up there with an EF4 tornado. NOAA has a space weather page where they determine the probabilities of a display at various latitudes. Click on the image below to be taken to the space weather page and see your specific chances.


There's no doubt you won't be seeing much in the way of weather around the Midwest the next few days. A ridge if high pressure is expected to flex its muscles through Christmas. This is the 500mb flow on Sunday showing the above normal heights that will keep temperatures at above normal levels.

These are the forecast temperature departures on the GFS Christmas Eve day as well as Christmas day.

December 24th.

December 25th.

Both days readings are 15-20 degrees above normal leading to highs in the range of 45 to 50 degrees. For those who have forgotten...nearly 2 months ago, the high Halloween was 31, the low 17, with many places seeing an inch of two of snow. Quite a turn around there and one you won't see very often.

Here's the 5 day temperature departures for the period December 20-25th. You last minute shoppers should appreciate this!

The first chance for any precipitation doesn't arrive until Christmas Day when some showers are possible, especially towards evening. This is the total precipitation forecast by the EURO through Christmas Day.

The GFS is faster and more aggressive with precipitation bringing some rain in Christmas Eve night. I think it is too fast and too strong and prefer what the EURO is depicting. Here's its total precipitation forecast through Christmas