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Christmas forecast: An early look at what to expect for holiday weather

Weather Blog

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — There is a high likelihood of a green Christmas for 2019.

As we are several days away from both the start of Hanukkah and the Christmas holiday, the forecast is slowly becoming more clear as we start to wrap up the year. First let’s look at the weekend and few days approaching the holiday.

High pressure at the surface across the Northeast will keep from any precipitation Friday and Saturday. This shifts slowly southward through the weekend, but should continue the dry weather as well as a general warming trend.

Temperatures will be surging around 10° above average into this weekend and that will likely remain above average through the first half of the week. While it is common to get big swings in temperatures during December, this warming pattern will have a bit of staying power and make sure that the ground remains thawed.

Models are showing cumulative rain and/or snow extremely low through the next seven days. Often in meteorology, dry begets dry.

This shows the extremely low chance for rain anywhere in the Northeast through Christmas.
High pressure will prevent any accumulating snow through the middle of next week.

The dominating high pressure will remain in control likely through Christmas Day Wednesday for most of the eastern United States. This is indicated with long-term ensemble trends that show a slightly warmer than average pattern and a lack of precipitation.

One thing to note is that there could potentially be a storm system that will be bringing rain and snow showers somewhere within the Great Lakes sometime around Christmas evening.

This forecast model shows a chance for some rain or snow north on the evening of Christmas.

This may stay well to the north, drift southward in the forecast over the next few days, or completely vanish. It will be something to watch, but the main takeaway is that whatever this is, it will bring only light precipitation somewhere in the Great Lakes (rain or snow) and temperatures will likely be at or above average for Christmas.

As of Thursday the chance for a green Christmas is at about 90%.

-Meteorologist James Gilbert

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