The first half of December has been wintry. As we turn toward the last two weeks of the year it is time to start thinking about the holiday season, a white Christmas, and what the pattern looks like as we sprint toward the new year! Let’s get started.
Grading my last outlook
The first outlook of the 2017-18 winter season was likely my best ever! Not only were the temperature predictions in line with what happened, we got plenty of winter weather events too during the second week, keeping inland areas on track to finish the month above average in snowfall. Along the shore, Bridgeport has already exceeded normal snowfall for December. If there is a place I can get dinged, it would be overall precipitation. Despite a number of events, we’re actually running about a half inch below normal so far this month. That said, we only care about snow around here, so let me have this forecasting victory. Overall, I give my outlook an A.
Week one—Friday December 1 to Thursday December 7
Temperatures—above average (moderate confidence) Check
Precipitation—average (moderate confidence) Check
Wintry Precipitation—below average (moderate confidence) Check
Week two—Friday December 8 to Thursday December 14
Temperatures—below average (high confidence) Check
Precipitation—average (low confidence) Just off
Wintry Precipitation—above average (moderate confidence) Check
Two Week Outlook Summary
Week one—Sunday December 17 to Saturday December 23
Temperatures—above average (moderate confidence)
Precipitation—below average (moderate confidence)
Wintry Precipitation—below average (moderate confidence)
Unfortunately for winter lovers, it looks like there is growing consensus that we see the pattern begin to relax as we head into the week before Christmas. Things look a touch warmer than normal at the beginning and end of this forecast period, with no real winter weather threats in sight.
Week two—Sunday December 24 to Sunday December 31
Temperatures—above average (low confidence)
Precipitation—below average (low confidence)
Wintry Precipitation—average (low confidence)
If you’ve been counting, we’ve had an awful run recently around the Christmas holiday. The Grinch has shown up the last few years, bringing well above normal temperatures or some sort of rain event. We could be heading for another Grinch Christmas.
The pattern is relaxing. The trough that dominated our weather during the first half of December is retreating, and in its wake we’re going to see a movement toward warmer than normal conditions. There should be a chance of snow tomorrow but it’s nothing significant. After that, we warm up until midweek when we get a brief cold shot that will put us toward more normal temperatures. That will lead us into the weekend when I expect the development of the dreaded southeast ridge, which will modify storm tracks to an unfavorable position for us and bring warmer weather. It very well may be time to pay up for our fast(ish) start to winter.
This is the week everyone probably cares about. Winter lovers everywhere are hoping for a white Christmas. Right now, it doesn’t look good. This forecast period is lower confidence than normal, but what we do see is the building of a southeast ridge, which could throw a serious wrench in hopes for snow around Christmas.
Folks, that ain’t a pretty look for cold and snow. It’s still doable though. The guidance has a boundary near the region next weekend that could allow a wave of low pressure to develop and ride it northeast. However, we could very well end up on the wrong side of that boundary and see rain around or on Christmas.
After the period, I think we go back to dry conditions, and signals are mixed about what happens between Christmas and January 1. My current guess is that we trend colder as the trough in the west moves toward the region, but there are no guarantees for any meaningful snow events. It’ll just have to be a period we watch closely.
Overall, if you love winter weather around Christmas, it may be hard to come by again this year. All hope is not lost, as we have to watch what the trends are over the next week with the upper level pattern and where the boundary between warm and cold sets up, but at this moment in time, I think warmer than normal and drier than normal will be the theme until at least Christmas, where we could see a tick back toward colder conditions. A storm looks more likely around Christmas at this time, but it could be warm.
As always, please like, share, and interact with us on our social media--on Facebook to share our discussions, and follow us on Twitter @southernctwx to retweet our posts. Hit the buttons below to join.
Thank you for reading SCW.