Arctic Air on the Way

Happy Sunday my friends around WABBLES! I hope everyone has had a great weekend so far and are ready for one heck of a weather week leading up to Christmas. We’ve got dangerous arctic air on the way with increasing chances for snow on Christmas Eve-Eve.

The Atmosphere Next Week (Giphy)

Today – Wednesday

Today and lasting through Wednesday, there will not be a lot of weather activity to talk about. Temperatures will fluctuate around the 40s with plenty of clouds throughout the WABBLES region. Occasional flurries, especially at night will be possible. But rest assured, there is arctic air on the way.

Christmas Eve Eve – Christmas

Here is where the fun begins my WABBLES people. Beginning Thursday, or Christmas Eve Eve, we will see the arrival of a potentially significant winter storm across the Midwest. The potential for the snow to come south into WABBLES is also increasing with arctic air on the way.

Current Snow Potential Forecast

This winter storm, just like most others, is quite the doozy to forecast at the moment. The control runs of the global models (GFS, Euro, & CMC) are still fluctuating on who will see snow and how much, as well as disagreeing with each other. The biggest detail to nail down at this timeframe will be the track that the low pressure takes.

Model Spread of Low-Tracks

The models all have a slightly different track that they believe the low will take, with all three providing different outcomes for WABBLES. So, watching how the models evolve over the next few days is critical. Below will be the WPC’s probability of liquid greater than .25″ which typically equates to about 2″ or so of snow, IF the precipitation is all frozen. There will likely be a transition period from rain to snow arctic air on the way behind the cold front.

WPC Probability Map

Like I just mentioned, we will likely see rain starting out and then everything changing over to snow as the cold front passes and the cold air arrives. Determining when we change over to snow is also crucial to an accurate snow forecast. This is yet to be reliably determined in the models. If we transition to snow early on into the event before the majority of the moisture is used up, we could see higher totals and vice versa.

A Model of what is Likely to Come

The bottom line:

  • Impactful Wintry Weather is a Possibility
  • Snow Totals are an Uncertainty
  • Exact Timing has yet to be Determined
  • Rain/Snow Lines are still being Determined

There is significantly higher confidence in the arctic air mass that will be arriving with this potential system and the expected impacts for WABBLES. Snowstorm or not, there will be a significant drop in temperatures thanks to our first big cold shot of the Winter. There sure is arctic air on the way.

Model Geopotential Heights Showing Arctic Airmass (Weathermodels.com)

This means that waking up on Christmas Eve (Saturday) air temperatures around WABBLES could be at or below 0. When you take wind chill into account, it becomes much worse with wind chill temps colder than -15 to -20 on the table. Temperatures at this extreme can be, and often are, very dangerous.

Model Wind Chill Temps Saturday Morning (Pivotal Weather)

Waking up on Christmas Morning (Sunday), things won’t be much better with actual temps likely just below 0 and wind chills around -10. This will mean at least two mornings with dangerous temperatures that will need to be taken seriously.

Model Wind Chill Temps Christmas Morning (Pivotal Weather)

Conditions will continue to improve Monday Morning, but until then, conditions will likely be sufficient for Wind Chill Advisories or even Warnings to be issued by the NWS. Below is a graphic from the NWS on how to prepare for arctic air on the way,

NWS Cold Weather Safety Graphic

That will be all for today folks! I hope everyone out there has a great rest of your weekend and that everyone will be safe out there. Below will be our social media accounts that you can follow for more up to date information.

Have a blessed day!