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THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'...


Make no mistake about it, the times they are a-changin', especially when it comes to our weather. Winter is knocking at the door and like it or not, it's coming in with all the trimmings. That means the next 10 days will see cold, wind, and snow. Temperatures over the 5 day period December 22-27 (including Christmas), are projected to average around 20 degrees below normal per day.

The Climate Prediction Center shows the chill in its 6-10 day outlook ending December 24th.

In fact, CPC has all of the central U.S. in a high risk outlook for hazardous temperatures December 22-26th.

While we're still too far out to get overly specific, the core of the coldest air is currently expected around December 22-23rd. The GFS by way of temperature departures shows it planted over the central U.S. at that time.

So does the EURO. The morning of the 23rd it has lows of 11-18 below in my area.

Even worse are the wind chills. Hopefully models will trend away from the current projections which would be severe. Some in NW Iowa are as cold as 50 below. In my area 25-40 below are indicated thanks to winds up to 40 mph.

If we have loose powdery snow on the ground, which is also shown, this set-up of bitter cold and blowing snow could make for a high impact event for pre-Christmas travelers around the Midwest. Again we are very early in the process here and this is still fluid, but the EURO has odds in the range of 80-100 percent for sub-zero lows in much of my area the 23rd.

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CHANCES FOR A WHITE CHRISTMAS INCREASING...

As for snow, the ensembles of the EURO, GFS, and Canadian GEM are pointing at a white Christmas. Some light snow or snow showers will fall Thursday and Friday in my northern counties as energy rotates around the slow moving upper air low creeping through Wisconsin and the upper Great Lakes. Totals of an inch (maybe two) are possible north of HWY 30. Elsewhere amounts less than an inch are expected with the least (not much more than a dusting) in the far south.


Some additional snow is anticipated with the Arctic outbreak around the 22nd or 23rd. Again, this is too far out for much in the way of confidence but for now a 1-4 inch system is what's portrayed in guidance. Here's the amounts the ensembles are suggesting through Christmas. This includes any snow that fell last night in the NE half of my area.


The EURO

The GFS

The Canadian GEM

Now that colder air is punching back into the area look for it to be around in varying degrees through Christmas. This is what the EURO meteogram for Cedar Rapids looks like through December 24th. Notice the sub-zero cold, even for highs, shown the 23rd and 24th. Not much to look forward to there.

I guess that's a good stopping place for now. Like it or not, winter officially starts at 3:48pm. December 21st. From the looks of things, we should be in the thick if it around that time. Stay tuned for additional updates on the cold and any potential snow in coming posts. Roll weather...TS

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