Generally mild weather in the Valley this last week before Christmas

We start this last full week leading up to Christmas with a blah and gloomy day. Plenty of low level moisture will keep persistent cloud cover plus the threat of drizzle, mist and light rain going over the course of the day.

On the plus side, temperatures will be mild with most neighborhoods getting into the low 40s for the afternoon high today.

We keep the blanket of clouds overnight and that will help keep temperatures from dropping of much tonight. Most of us will stay right around 40 or so for the nighttime low.

Dreary conditions will continue into the first half of the day Tuesday before a weak cold front sinks south across east-central Ohio late in the day. Ahead of the front tomorrow afternoon, we’ll dry out and even start to see some occasional sunshine. Temperatures will become quite balmy for mid December and we’ll have little trouble getting to the low 50s here in the Valley.

After that weak front clears east-central Ohio Tuesday night, temperatures on Wednesday will take a bit of a hit. It will be a dry but cooler day with afternoon highs back in the upper 30s to around 40 degrees.

Winter arrives Thursday but it won’t look or feel much like winter. Temperatures will recover a bit and we swing again back to above normal with mid 40s likely for most neighborhoods. Sunshine will help brighten things up and make it at least feel warmer.

A strong and complex storm system will approach Thursday night and although there are significant model differences in the track and intensity, chances are that impacts will be felt here in east-central Ohio.

Rain looks to spread into the region Friday afternoon with rain likely continuing into Friday night. Temperatures will be warm, so we’ll have no snow or ice issues to deal with.

Rain will probably hang on through at least the first half of Saturday before a cold front clears east-central Ohio in the afternoon. Rain should end behind the front but it will not stay dry long. The next storm system will approach from the southwest on Sunday and again precipitation will spread northward into the Valley Saturday night. Warm air ahead of this system will keep the precip type as all rain to start but eventually some snow ill work in as temperatures drop off to freezing.

Snow on Christmas Day will depend on where Saturday’s cold front ends up going. If it continues east it will allow cold arctic air to migrate further east and perhaps bring snow. This idea is favored by the American GFS model.

If it stalls near of just to our east, that cold air will stay bottled up in the west. That will mean rain for us here in the Valley on Christmas Day. This is the solution the European model likes.

The truth is we just don’t know at this point. Right now I lean toward the European model and scenario number-two – the front hangs up and we end up with rain.

Even IF the GFS idea proves correct, there’s still not much hope for snow despite the colder temperatures. Most snow would be lake effect and we generally don’t see much from lake effect snow in the Valley.

Based on experience and weather history, I’d give slight chances 15% – 20% for snow on Christmas Day for the Valley.

There is one weather feature headed our way that we CAN be fairly confident about – a much colder temperature regime. While the computer models waffle around on that Christmas storm system, they do agree on this blast of cold coming. The only real question is how cold.




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