Currently: Not much on the current weather map. High pressure over the Southern Appalachians dominates our weather. This high pressure system will slide offshore and bring gradually warmer weather into the area.
Quick meteorological note: Temperatures have been running about 3-6 degrees colder than statistical guidance. Unfortuately, there is no real reason for this. This time of year, the usual culprit would be snowcover, but many areas have none. There were more clouds than forecast yesterday, so that would explain yesterday, but today was sunny and the same thing happened. The only possibility is that the strength of the surface high and its associated cold air mass was underestimated. What makes forecasting difficult is that I can't just take statistical guidance (which generally performs well), and just assume that it's going to be 5 degrees too warm ad infinitum. So I just have to use what we have and hope it corrects itself, for now. Onto the forecast...
For tonight, large temperature discrepancies between the usually colder and warmer locations foreseen, due to good radiational cooling conditions, especially in the second half of the night. For this reason, there will be a large range in low temperatures, from the mid teens to the mid 20s.
Tomorrow: Temperatures should warm to near 40, perhaps a few degrees above in the south. Clouds should increase later in the day ahead of an approaching Alberta Clipper system.
Tomorrow Night and Thursday: An Alberta Clipper system will approach. Any precipitation that falls with this system would probably be around midday Thursday. Highest chances of precipitaiton would be in the NW hills, where soundings support all snow. Just a flurry or sprinkle for the rest of the state, for now. However, it should be noted that if any precipitation sneaks into the SW Thu AM, it could be very light freezing rain or freezing drizzle, which could create problems with the AM commute. It is not in the forecast right now, but something to watch. As for temperatures, expect lows in the 20s and highs 40-45.
Long Term (Christmas Eve/Day and beyond): First for Friday, expect a generally fair day, with lows 25-30 and highs in the mid 40s. There are increasing signs for a potential period of light precipitation on Christmas Eve.The Canadian and European models both had something at 12Z and the GFS had nothing. The 18Z GFS has trended a bit toward the foreign models. In order of temperature profiles, the GFS based models are the warmest, and the European the coldest, with the Canadian in between, but closer to the European. Based on all of the above, I'll go colder and wetter than the GFS. Keep in mind, no model has tons of precipitaition, and it is still entirely possible that the whole thing could die crossing the Appalchians. But this is still important to note, because it comes during the day Christmas Eve. Temperature profiles support all snow north, and some type of mixing further south. There could be minor accumulations in the NW hills.
For Christmas Day, generally fair weather, again with highs in the mid 40s.
The next system will approach for the Monday and Tuesday time frame. This system may wind up tracking so far west that it keeps the core of the warm air way to the west with the low track. The GFS, for example, has the low tracking into James Bay! If it were into Buffalo, we'd probably be significantly warmer. Even as it is, there will be a warm up with that low pressure system and would favor an all or mostly rain event for the area. However, it is quite conceivable from this juncture that the Litchfield and Windham hills could have some freezing rain, and POSSIBLY some into the CT River valley. Keep in mind, models underestimate low level cold air this far out.
Wednesday would then dry out with temperatures turning back to normal, or possibly even a bit below. The GFS really wants to end the warm weather right there. Most other guidance keeps a generally above normal temperature regime for a while longer. The GFS often "teases us" with pattern changes and can be up to a week too quick, which would place us into the Jan 6-7 time frame for a real pattern change. However, the signal is getting louder on the GFS and its ensembles, so it may be more like Jan 3 or so. Either way, this warm up does not look nearly as impressive as it once did. It's just hard to sustain warmth in this part of the world when Canada is frigid!
Let's now take a quick look at a couple weak systems slated to affect the state. First here is the Thursday clipper.