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My list to Santa this year included snow, something I've had on it every year since 1960. If you dig into the archives of my letters which are stored at the North Pole you will find requests for baseball gloves, Hot Wheels, Mousetrap-the game, a cat, a dog (anything living covered with fur), high top Converse basketball shoes, and a bunch of other crazy trendy items. The one constant on my list is snow, probably because I rarely get it.

Being a meteorologist I've developed a pretty good relationship with Mr. C. as he always asks me about flight conditions in this area, especially when the weather looks bad. I actually heard from one of his lead elves this morning and we talked over his agenda... the typical routine stuff, ceiling heights, inversions, jet streaks, etc. However, the little guy had been tanking up on sugar for a couple days and was talking a mile a minute. In a breach of etiquette he let it slip that anybody who asked for snow in the Midwest this year would not be getting it.

When he saw the disappointment on my face he went on to say that Santa wanted to make up for the shortage of snow this year by bringing colder weather and snow in January. Apparently climate change has made it difficult to get snow delivered before Christmas. So, his plan is to deliver the gift of good weather now and snowy weather later as some like winter and other's don't (something for everyone). I was advised to be patient and I would be rewarded. So, I'm going to be a very good boy and appreciate the mild green Christmas so when my time comes for a big blizzard, I'll be happy as a clam. Meantime, I'm hoping that new digital weather station I asked for is under the tree December 25th!


A green Christmas is going to be a reality this year along with mild temperatures. The peak of the warmth is Christmas Eve day when highs will hit the 50s around my area, the exception being the far north where some mid to upper 40s are expected. Around the region highs should be 15-25 degrees above typical Christmas Eve day highs. There it is, the first gift of Christmas!!!

Christmas day itself cooler air will invade the region and a fast moving wave will generate some showers. Models have been very erratic in their handling of this feature. The GFS has been especially zealous on rainfall totals cranking out more than 1/2 inch of rain in spots, most of it late Friday night and early Christmas morning. Yuk, rain on Christmas?

The latest Canadian GEM resembles the GFS showing rain totals that are now quite similar to the GFS.

The EURO is far less enthusiastic and now the outlier with the rain band further south and much lighter. Amounts in some areas are as much as 1/2 inch less than the GFS and GEM.

It's still a little early to make a definitive call but I suspect the EURO is running light on amounts and it looks like the early portions of Christmas morning will be damp with widespread light rain and a heavy overcast. Highs should generally range from 40 north to the upper 40s south. So, there's another gift. No icy roads to navigate on the road to Grandma's house. Here's what the EURO indicates for highs on Christmas. Most areas are above normal by a solid 10+ degrees.

The end of the holiday weekend features another fast moving disturbance that tracks through the area area late Sunday, especially Sunday night. The GFS is further south on the track and more aggressive with precipitation. It also shows enough cold air across the north for snow or a rain snow mix that changes to snow Sunday night. The GEM and EURO are further north and spread rain through my area Sunday evening keeping any snow to the north. I'm thinking the GFS is too cold (a recent bias) and will come around to the warmer solutions in future runs eliminating its snow threat. Therefore it looks like strictly a rain event for my area. There's another gift to those of you who do not like or want snow.


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(John Miller) I cannot WAIT!!! His last session was one of BEST events I have ever attended!!!

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As I mentioned earlier I'm hoping that my wish for a more wintry pattern that contains some snow will be fulfilled in January (are you listening Santa?) Many models are indicating a strong change to colder weather just after the New Year. While that looks to be a good bet, for the past 3 or 4 weeks similar trends have shown up in the long range guidance and by the time we get there its delayed and pushed back a week. The models are struggling mightily to grasp the strength of a ridge over the eastern U.S. They want to break it down in early January allowing some bitter cold air in Canada a window to start pushing into the Midwest. That usually happens after the solstice but the PNA (Pacific North America Oscillation) is in uncharted territory. You can see below around December 28th it's negative phase on the GFS is actually off the phase chart (negative by more than 6 standard deviations). Despite numerous other teleconnections signaling cold, the power of the -PNA is so far off-setting them. The only way I can see this turning around to a cold pattern with any lasting power in the Midwest is if the PNA climbs closer to a neutral base phase of 0. That implies a weaker eastern ridge and an opportunity for the western trough and colder air to dig southeastward.

If you notice above, there is a slow climb towards a far less amplified pattern around January 2nd but whether that's enough to turn the tide to the wintry side of the pillow for long is still in doubt. I am expecting to see a period of sharply colder weather at that time but I'm concerned the PNA bounces right back to its strongly negative ways and the trough re-establishes itself over the west limiting future cold air intrusions here in the Midwest. Honestly, there's no way to know for sure and patterns can and do flip on a dime. However, I still see nothing that gives me any confidence that winter is ready to lock in for any lengthy period of time. Seriously, the last month has been a nightmare to forecast. My hair is getting whiter by the day! All a guy can do is keep grinding. Well, that's all I have for you. Only one more day of shopping after today. The reindeer are eating heavily as lift off approaches. Hopefully the bell rings loud and clear for all you believers to hear. Roll weather...TS