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Pinpoint Weather: Despite the warm-up, white Christmas still possible

20 December 2017

We'll see near record highs late this week.

However, the 50-something-degree warmth may make another cameo by the start of the upcoming holiday weekend.

This year isn't looking much different, although there is the off chance that the cold snap set to overtake the central and western USA might push the rain/snow line near the TN/NC border. And during the upcoming battle between warm and cold, the days leading up to and including Christmas look potentially unsettled with some rain likely, and some wintry weather possible.

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On Tuesday, temperatures will reach well into the 40s ahead of colder air to the west. That was of course an exceptional year, and when we have strong El Ninos, temperatures tend to be incredibly mild, especially in December. Thursday is the winter solstice, or the first day of winter, with winter officially arriving at 11:28 a.m. on Thursday, which is also the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight.

The Weather Outlook said 70mph gales could come on Boxing Day, just missing Christmas day itself.

Consequently the snow line will rise to over 1,000m, with heavy rain forecast below that level in many places on Friday night. Saturday and Sunday will have highs in the teens.

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The National Weather Service's website isn't willing to be so bold. This forecast will likely require changes, perhaps a few times, by the weekend.

The powerful El Nino two years ago contributed those 70-degree readings just before Christmas, and there was virtually no snow cover in all of New England. According to the site, Reykjavík had 43 white Christmases between 1921 and 2015. A cold front will be slicing through the center of the country later this week.

Baltimore has an outside chance of having a white Christmas, but any snow will require a quicker-than-expected intrusion of cold air. Conditions later Sunday and Monday will be cooler but the question right now is how much cooler.

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The graphics below automatically update with the latest forecasts. The forecast models continue to change a bit from run to run and until any storm systems enter the USA data network, this will continue to be the case.

Pinpoint Weather: Despite the warm-up, white Christmas still possible