Models continue to show much warmer than average temperatures through the week, lasting right into the start of the weekend. But models are currently in agreement that a cold front will move through the region Saturday night, ushering in colder temperatures for Christmas Eve. While models agree on the colder air, they still do not agree on the placement of a storm system that will either impact the Valley or pass by just to our east Christmas Eve into Christmas Day. Below is a look at what models are showing as of Tuesday evening, or you can click “Play” on the video above.
**PLEASE NOTE: This is not a final forecast. At the time of writing this, Christmas day is still six days away. The models can change and that will impact what we see. Stay updated with the latest forecast here. **
We are starting to see some similarities with model data in terms of temperatures. Today, both models have temperatures below freezing for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. This is different from Monday evening when models varied on how warm temperatures would be for Christmas Eve (Sunday). They still paint different scenarios for what would cause snowfall in our area.
THE GFS SCENARIO
The GFS models remains the less snowy model of the two, but it is a little different today. It currently shows temperatures in the 20s for Christmas morning.
The difference today is the GFS is now bringing the Arctic cold front into our area in the evening on Christmas day instead of on Tuesday. This Arctic cold front will bring drastically cooler temperatures when it arrives. If it arrives on Christmas day, It will be accompanied by a chance for snow showers along the leading edge, as shown below.
So the GFS scenario would likely result in snow on Christmas day, but it doesn’t look like a hefty snow. It would be reasonable to assume that snow ahead of the Arctic front could amount to a quick inch. That said, if the winds are in the right direction, lake-effect would be a high probability behind the front and could produce a little extra snow. Here’s what the GFS is currently showing for snowfall on Christmas Day.
THE EUROPEAN SCENARIO
The Euro model continues to paint a somewhat different picture. There are two main differences. The first is, it is slower with the arrival of the colder, Arctic air. The second, it continues to show a large storm system in the Appalachian mountain region. The scenario it paints would lead to more snow in our area. There is also a big difference from Monday’s runs. It now suggests colder temperatures on Christmas Eve, with temperatures slightly below freezing for the afternoon.
It also looks a little colder on Christmas Day, showing temperatures in the 20s. However, it continues to hold off on the arrival of the colder, Arctic air until after Christmas.
The hold up in the arrival of the cold air is likely due to the model continuing to develop a storm that will ride up the Appalachian mountains. The model had this storm yesterday, but has shifted the track of the storm a little further east. It puts the Valley in the snow region of this storm. The model shows snow developing in the evening on Christmas Eve, and continues to show snow in the morning for Christmas Day.
This scenario would result in a more robust snow for the Valley. The model currently paints around 2-4″ across the area.
By definition, a white Christmas is when one inch of snow is either present on the ground or falls at any time on Dec. 25. With both models continuing to suggest snowfall and showing temperatures below freezing, it would appear we still have a decent chance of seeing a white Christmas. Currently, I am putting our chances of a white Christmas at 60%. Both models are agreeing on colder temperatures and both scenarios are plausible. The GFS has been hinting at a big cold snap for a while, and longer range climate models have been suggesting this as well. An Arctic cold front can produce heavy bursts of snow which would be able to put down a quick inch, plus the Arctic air would increase chances for lake-effect.
As for the European scenario, that is also plausible. There will be a big trough in the jet stream and it will be perfectly positioned to fire off an area of low pressure to our southwest. These types of storms typically move either east and then north, riding up the coast, or they move northeast. The Euro has one moving northeast, bringing snow to our area, and these types of storms usually produce decent snowfall across the Valley.
Since both scenarios would result in Christmas Day snowfall in the Valley, I am keeping our chance of a white Christmas at 60%.
Be sure to check back with WYTV.com or watch our newscasts on 33 WYTV for updates.