Mild weather, rain chances leading up to Christmas

Since our last early-season snow
event on December 7th, the weather pattern over the Mid-South has
transitioned into a much milder one, with occasional rain chances and brief
cool-downs. As we head into the upcoming week, leading into Christmas, it
appears this pattern will continue to hold. So does that mean no White
Christmas for the Mid-South again this year? An early look at what may happen
is coming up!
After a return to colder
temperatures in the Mid-South for a couple of days following the passage of a
cold front, high pressure has shifted to our southeast again, meaning southerly
winds, increasing moisture and milder temperatures are back as we typically
see. After nearing 60 this afternoon, we’ll exceed it on Monday ahead of the
next system organizing to our west. Mid and high level cloudiness will be
increasing, but rain chances should hold off until at least Monday night.
As the cold front and associated
low pressure system approach late Monday night into Tuesday, rain will begin
overspreading the area, with the wettest period between Tuesday morning and
afternoon, when a few thunderstorms are possible. Fortunately, instability is
expected to remain fairly minimal, meaning the chances of severe weather should
be very low. Rainfall amounts will likely average around one-half of an inch,
with local totals up to one inch possible.
model forecast for 6am Tuesday morning shows rain (possibly a few
thunderstorms) moving into the Mid-South ahead of a cold front and low pressure
area in Oklahoma; Meanwhile a blizzard may be ongoing across portions of the
Plains states.

This same storm system is
expected to result in a major winter storm, with possibly blizzard conditions,
across portions of New Mexico, Colorado, the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, and
much of Kansas between Monday and Tuesday (see above). If you have any travel plans in that
area, be aware that hazardous if not dangerous conditions are possible during
this period.

The front should clear the region
Tuesday night, with slightly cooler weather for Wednesday and Thursday as highs
fall back to the 50s. We’ll get a chance to dry out Wednesday, but not far
behind will be the next system passing to our southeast Thursday.
Unfortunately, computer models are not in agreement on how close it will be to
the Mid-South, which will ultimately determine how much, if any, rainfall we might
see. For now, a chance of rain exists for Thursday, but this is subject to
change as the week progresses.
Many are already looking forward
to the expected weather for the all-important Christmas weekend, but so far
confidence is not high as models are diverging on possible outcomes. Some are
suggesting an unsettled pattern, which may result in chances for rain. For
those “dreaming” of a White Christmas, it may have to remain that way yet
another year as at this point temperatures do not look supportive of wintry
precipitation. Of course, the forecast will become better defined in the coming
days as new model data is available, allowing us to more confidently rule out
any and all weather possibilities for Christmas weekend. Stay tuned!
–Kevin Terry, MemphisWeather.Net

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