From the ABC 7 Weather team

Christmas Day weather forecast update; Snow or no snow?

December 21, 2011 - 04:34 PM
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Where are our new predictions pointing us as far as a White Christmas is concerned?

The next few days are going to be mild and wet, that's for sure. Here is a look below at the precipitation forecast for the next couple of days. Nearly an inch and a half of rain are possible between this evening and Friday morning. Yuck! What about Christmas though? Will your brand new bike look like this? We don't think so and here is a look at why.


Rainfall potential through Friday morning

This is a look at how much rain is expected over the next few days. Wet, but way to warm for any snow. Should reach the 60 degree mark again through the day tomorrow. Expect some morning sunshine followed by afternoon clouds which will come in ahead of the next system to the southwest.

This system should begin to bring rain into the region by Thursday evening and it may be heavy at times Thursday night. I think the highest rainfall totals will be around 1.5 inches.

Now we want to get into the weekend. Friday should be quiet and cooling with temperatures in the 50s and 40s. Saturday should be a good start to the weekend with high pressure overhead and highs in the upper 40s. Can't complain! Christmas Day is where the questions were over the work week, but now the forecast has been coming together and trending in the same direction.

GFS surface map and precipitation forecast for 1pm Sunday

Above is the GFS forecast for Sunday afternoon. There is a system that passes to the south of D.C. on Sunday but it is too far to make for any precipitation in the D.C. area and is very weak at that. There is no pronounced surface low, no major trough, no strong blocking high to the northeast and no upper-level jet support for a snow storm. There is ample cold air at 850mb, but surface temperatures are still going to reach the mid 40s.

ECMWF Surface depiction for Sunday afternoon

Here is another model we look at called the ECMWF, or European model. This shows really more of the same as far as a weak system passing to the south, with marginal cold air support, no high to the northeast helping make for cold air damming east of the Appalachians. Long story short, no snow and no snow storm.

CMC forecast for Sunday afternoon

Just for a little more in the way of support for everyone, here is one more longer-range model we can look at which is the CMC model, or the Canadian. This model depicts a system forming, but way too late. Nothing forms until it is out over the Atlantic which is way too late to do any damage close to home. There is plenty of cold air available with this model but that's about it.

This is one thing we like to lean on as meteorologists. A consensus. It's one thing if one model shows this and another shows that, but when all of them are in agreement it makes us a lot happier. I'm sorry to you snow lovers that want a White Christmas but you're going to have to wait another year. We think we'll have much better chances in January and February once this warm pattern shifts. As we have been in it over the past few months, it just has to happen soon! Have a great Christmas Day!

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