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Here it is Christmas Eve day. Santa flies tonight and the excitement is ramping up. Everyone is in the holiday spirit except the weather. What a scrooge it is! I'm calling in the three holiday spirits known as (past, present, and future) to show the weather the error of its ways. My hope is to bring in a kinder and more travel worthy brand of weather to the region by Christmas day! Nobody want's a scrooge at the table and I'm going to do all I can to see that it doesn't happen.

Unfortunately improvement will be slow as the big winds and cold temperatures of the past 2 days are not finished with us yet (it takes the spirits time to break through). Blowing and drifting snow will continue to be a travel issue Saturday reducing visibility, especially in the open country. The good news is that the blizzard and winter storm warnings will be discontinued in the morning. Unfortunately, they are likely to be replaced with wind chill advisories, especially in the northern half of my region. Highs will hold in the single digits north to about 10 in the south.

Christmas day dawns cold with lows in the range of zero south to 5 below north. Winds will be considerably lower but wont be calm, in the range of 10-20 mph. That will add a bite to temperatures which while warmer, will still only be in the range of 8 north to 18 in the far south.

The quiet uneventful weather does not last long as a clipper steams into the region Christmas evening. Snow should develop between 7 an 8pm in the NW and reach the far southeast around 10pm. Cold temperatures will produce high snow ratios which means even with limited moisture, a fluffy powdery snow is expected in the 1-3" category. A winter weather advisory appears likely Christmas night and early Monday morning. Here's what models are suggesting for accumulations.



Behind the clipper skies will clear and sub-zero lows will be with us Monday night with teens and low 20s expected on Tuesday.

After that, a pattern change builds a trough over the western U.S. that brings a welcome thaw the rest of next week. Snow cover in my northern counties may hinder the warm-up initially but as it melts highs in the 40s are possible to close out the week. Some rain is even possible with the next system toward the end of the week or first part of the weekend.

Okay, I've got presents to wrap, a house to clean, and groceries to buy. This will be the last you hear from me until next Monday as my able assistant RK (Rebecca Kopelman, meteorologist of KGAN TV in Cedar Rapids) takes over the helm. I thank her for allowing me to spend time with my family. I hope the rest of you have the same opportunity. Here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Roll weather...TS


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