Weather! Cooling off for Christmas

Mild temperatures continue to be the story of this winter, keeping both the Arctic air and any chance of snow in the near future away. On the plus side, those of you with travel plans for the day after Christmas have great weather in store. Happy holidays, everyone!

It’s been overcast and somewhat mild today; RIC still made it to 60 degrees early this afternoon. Despite that, we’re unsurprisingly still well too warm (and dry) for a white Christmas, which is defined meteorologically as having 1” of snow on the ground or accumulated during the day on December 25.

Dermatologically speaking, you might consider it to be a white Christmas if you decide to wash your hair with snow, but that’s between you and your hairdresser.

So who is seeing a white Christmas this year? Not many people. This is the snow depth analysis for this morning, December 23.

Contrast this with last year at the same time:

Big difference, no? There’s enough cold air in place across the northern tier of the country that there won’t be much melting for those places on the borderline of 1” will probably keep it all by Christmas Day, but unless you live in the Sierra Nevadas, Rocky Mountains, or Canada, there’s a pretty good chance that this Christmas won’t be a white one.

We are going to get colder, however, and it’s going to start tonight. Temperatures are headed into the “chilly” range tonight, despite some clouds. Expect low temperatures in the upper 30s with some lingering clouds tonight.

Saturday: Clouds continue to clear out thanks to a weak area of high pressure across the southeast. Expect a high around 50 with a light breeze, and lows in the low 30s.

Sunday: Skies pick up a few clouds as a weak piece of energy aloft sets up to the west of us. Christmas won’t be white, but it will be partly sunny, with a high in the mid 50s. Expect wind gusts near 20mph at times, as well. That’s a far cry from last Christmas, where we had a high of 37, a low of 30, and 2.7” of snow. Low temperatures will be similar to last year, again near 30, but without any moisture we have no chance of picking up the 2.7” of snow. I don’t know about you, but I’m ok with that.

Monday: If you’re traveling on Monday, conditions are actually clearing up quite nicely. Skies will again be partly cloudy, but cooler than Monday, with a high in the upper 40s. It will be windy again, with gusts in the 15-20 mph range, but dry otherwise as the trough moves through the region. Lows overnight will fall into the upper 20s.

Tuesday evening looks like the next opportunity for some precipitation, but thanks to the (relatively) warm air still in place, it will be all rain. We continue with a trend of highs in the mid 40s to near 50 until next weekend.

For those of you heading out over the next two weeks, I wish everyone safe travels and hope that you all have a happy holidays.

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Weather Dan

Dan Goff is now a two-time former Richmonder, having departed the River City yet again in favor of southwest Virginia, where he is working on degrees in geography and meteorology at Virginia Tech. Have a question about the weather or weather-related phenomena?

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