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Twas the day before Christmas and all through the Swails house creatures were stirring. Nimbus the Dog was deliberately devouring a bone. The house cats, Ming Ming and Emma Rose, were climbing the Christmas tree and batting the ornaments with glee. Eden was checking her list for the 13th time. Carolyn in her kerchief was singing carols under the mistletoe and I in my Iowa cap, was stewing over the weather charts. The temperature was in the 50s and the forecast for Christmas day included a chance of rain showers, not snow...oh no! How could I break the dismal news. And then what to my wondering eye appeared, it was Carolyn shaking me and telling me to wake the heck up. I was having a nightmare before Christmas.

While some of that's a stretch, when I tell you this weather is a living nightmare for me I kid you not. Warm temperatures, no snow, even some rain. Why am I not on a beach, under a palm tree, holding a glass with a little umbrella swaying in the breeze. Dang I need help. But I do understand many of you are just fine with this "abnormal" weather and so it is that I give it as a gift. Freely and unconditionally it's yours to keep. Merry Christmas!

I feel better, much better! Thanks for the opportunity to get that toxin out of my system. From here on out it's Christmas cheer for all to hear from this old meteorologist. Let's get it on.


There's not much to say about today other than you can't beat the temperatures. While we won't break any records, most of us will be seeing highs well into the 50s, perhaps even 60 in the far south. Out of 149 years only abut 5 percent of Christmas Eve days get this warm so what a gift this is! Here's what the EURO shows for highs.

These are the departures for December 24th. Holy cow....

Just for a little perspective on how special this years temperatures are, I wanted to show you this archived surface map of weather conditions December 24th, 1983. The temperature in the Quad Cities is shown at 18 below in Des Moines its -19. Winds are screeching out of the NW gusting at times to 50 mph. Wind chills on the old scale used in those days were as low as 80 below! Today 38 years later I washed my vehicle outside in a sweatshirt and gym shorts. It literally felt more than 100 degrees warmer!

You can see the frigid cold being caused by an extension of the polar vortex digging into the upper Midwest along with a massive 1060mb surface high situated over Montana. There was a healthy snow cover on the ground that was powdery in nature and readily blew. Accompanying the severe cold were ground blizzards and massive drifts that closed many roads. I can tell you it was as bad as I've ever seen it around here and Christmas Eve services and festivities were cancelled all around the region. It was ugly and downright deadly. Even I hope to never see such vicious conditions again, especially at Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas. We do have better agreement on a fast moving wave that brings a few showers to the region late Friday night and early Christmas. The GFS which yesterday showed as much as 1/2 inch of rain has come in less amplified, further south, and much lighter on amounts. It has trended towards the EURO which has consistently showed a much weaker system. I think the EURO has the right idea and I don't expect much in the way of rain anywhere and what develops is gone very early Christmas day. Here's what the two models show for totals.



With the fast movement of the system we may even get into some sunshine during Christmas afternoon which will allow temperatures to get back into the mid to upper 40s. Those readings are about 15 degrees above normal. Overall, Christmas day is looking better and better! The EURO has highs that look like this.

Another fast moving system moves in towards Sunday evening. This one is better organized and should bring somewhat higher precipitation totals although the most significant amounts will remain to the north. the EURO indicates this for amounts.

The GFS is quite a bit lighter.

One thing that needs to be watched is the potential for precipitation in the north to start out as snow Sunday evening before transitioning to rain and ending very early Monday. There's some interesting banding showing up on the EURO and there are accumulations indicated as far south as HWY 30.

The GFS is further north with accumulations but does show up to 1/2 inch as far south as HWY 20 before the change to rain. The GEM mirrors the GFS. Right now I think this is too close to call and we are going to need another day to get the issue resolved. I will say I think the EURO may be a bit over cooked and too far south on the accumulating snow.

If nothing else, Sunday's temperatures will continue above normal with highs ranging from the mid 30s far north to the low to mid 40s central and south. The beat goes on!

MORE ON THE EXTENDED BELOW..................................................................................

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With the mean trough residing over the west next week, the pattern remains active with at least 2 more disturbances ejecting into the Midwest. After a lull Monday the next one arrives towards Tuesday. At this point it looks to once again be primarily a rain maker although a mix of rain and snow may occur in the northern third of my area.

After that readings will cool a bit Wednesday-Friday before what could be a stronger system towards next weekend. Early indications are the track would be close to my area pointing to rain as the dominant precipitation form. Once it passes models do show a healthy trend for significantly colder air just after the start of the new year. Again, I'll believe it when I see it but the trend has merit.

With that, I will sign off and get ready for the fun and joy of the most wonderful time of the year. Here's hoping all of you have a fantastic holiday. Love the ones you're with! Roll weather...TS


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