An Update on The Warmth, the Rain and Christmas!

Today will be another cold day with temperatures in the 20s, but much is about to change. Take a look at the change in the jet stream configuration between now  (top) and Friday (bottom):

jetnow

jetfriday

A trough of low pressure over the East will be replaced by a ridge of high pressure, centered over the Southeast. A deep through of low pressure will move over the Rockies. The ridge will allow warm air to surge north. The warmest air is likely to be overhead Sunday morning. The European model MAY be a bit too warm, but still, check out it’s forecast high temperatures Sunday:

eurohighssunThat’s UPPER 60s in Northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Notice the dramatic drop on the other side of the front in Northwest Ohio.

All of this warmth will zap our snow pack…and that process will be aided by rain. Perhaps a lot of rain. Check out the NOAA total rainfall prediction between now and Sunday night:

qpf

While amounts may be higher to our west, a good 1-2 inches of rain is likely here…with the potential for more. This combined with the snow melt raises the concern for some flooding. Here’s a map showing the “snow water equivalent”, which is  It is the amount of water contained within the snow pack. There is up to an inch or so of water in the Mahoning Valley snow pack currently.

snowwater

These factors have led the NWS to outline much of the region for “possible” flooding this weekend:

flooding

After a warm and wet weekend, we have big changes coming next week. Monday will be windy and 30-35 degrees colder with snow flurries possible. Here’s the surface map for that afternoon:

gfsmonday

Snow accumulations are not likely to be significant Monday and these may be the LAST snowflakes we see before Christmas Day. Right now, the holiday looks tranquil.

The European Model outlook:

euroxmas

The GFS Model has a somewhat different idea on the placement of some features such as the cold front, but quiet weather is still advertised for our region. Maybe there is a late-day flurry:

gfsxmas

So, our chances of a White Christmas are not looking high this year. Based on the last 78 Christmas Days, here are the “historical” odds of a White Christmas in Youngstown:

odds

Highs on Christmas Day are likely to be in the mid/upper 30s.

Thanks for reading!

Eric

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