Christmas Weekend Outlook: December 24-28, 2020

We’ve got a couple of busy days coming up, and not just because it’s Christmas.

Low pressure is moving across Iowa this afternoon, producing blizzard conditions across parts of the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains. That system will impact us over the next few days, but in a different way. As it moves toward the Great Lakes, it will start to send milder air into the region tonight, but more noticeably tomorrow. Southerly winds will gradually increase tomorrow, becoming quite strong tomorrow night and into Christmas morning. Sustained winds of 15-30 mph are likely, with wind gusts to 50-60 mph or more possible. This could result in power outages, so don’t be surprised if you wake up Christmas morning and can’t charge up those new electronics you found under the tree.

Damaging wind gusts are possible across much of the region Thursday night and Christmas morning. Image provided by WeatherBell.

Wind isn’t the only issue we’ll have. Rain will move in Thursday night, and continue into Christmas Day. While it may not be raining the entire time, there will be some bands of heavy rain, with rainfall totals in excess of an inch possible in many areas. The rain, combined with temperatures climbing above 50, will help to melt a lot of the snow that is on the ground. This could result in some flooding issues in some spots, but widespread flooding doesn’t look likely.

The ECMWF shows how our snow cover could quickly disappear over the next few days. Loop provided by Weathermodels.com

As this storm system moves into southeastern Canada, it will drag a strong cold front across the region on Christmas Day. Although the day will start mild, likely in the 50s for most of us, temperatures will drop during the afternoon. If the cold air moves in fast enough and the precipitation is slower to move out, we could even see some wet snowflakes before everything winds down late in the day. At night, temperatures will continue to drop, meaning that the wet roads will likely start to ice over if they are not treated, as they won’t have had much time to dry before the cold air moves in.

The GFS model shows the warmer air move in on Christmas Eve, then quickly get replaced on Christmas Day. Loop provided by WeatherBell.

High pressure builds in for the weekend with dry and seasonably cold conditions. It may still be a bit breezy on Saturday, adding to the chill, but Sunday may also be a few degrees milder. By Monday, we’ll be watching another storm system passing to our west, with some showers possible.

Wednesday night: Becoming partly to mostly cloudy. Low 23-30 this evening, but temperatures may start to rise a bit after midnight.

Christmas Eve: Mostly cloudy, becoming breezy in the afternoon. High 48-55.

Thursday night: Cloudy and windy with showers developing, becoming steady rain late at night. Temperatures gradually rise overnight.

Christmas Day: Cloudy with rain likely, possibly heavy at times, windy in the morning. High 53-60 in the morning, temperatures drop during the afternoon.

Friday night: Mostly cloudy and breezy with any lingering showers ending in the evening, possibly mixed with a few wet snowflakes, some clearing is possible late at night. Low 22-29.

Saturday: Becoming partly to mostly sunny. High 28-35 (welcome back to December).

Saturday night: Clear skies. Low 19-26.

Sunday: Partly to mostly sunny. High 32-39.

Sunday night: Increasing clouds. Low 22-29.

Monday: Mostly cloudy and breezy with a few showers possible. High 42-49.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s