Cold Wave Arriving Before Christmas; Question is How Low Can We Go?

We want to clear the air here about any snow rumors or a white Christmas. Snow is hard to get in the South during a regular winter, and our winters have been warm overall lately. But one thing is for certain, it will be cold. In fact, some of the Plains States may set record lows. However, that is not for us. But we are still expecting nighttime lows in the teens, and maybe even low teens for some. That data will become more clear next week.

Above is the Euro 2 meter temperature anomaly for Christmas Eve morning (12/24). The cold air spills all the way down from Siberia and into the Upper Plains. The remaining cold air moves east to our area, however the cold will lose some of its punch by the time it makes it to us. We can expect nighttime lows i the teens here in the Carolinas. The mountains may bottom out in the single digits.

The Climate Prediction Center is calling for almost 100% chance of below normal temperatures in places like Minnesota and Iowa into the 26th below. For our area, temps will be much below normal, but we may not experience the extreme cold wave like other parts of the country.

What about snow? The rumors are flying around. Right now, we honestly don’t see any storms, other than rain around the 22nd on the Euro Below. We are using the Euro due to NOAA’s recent botched GFS upgrade. Notice there are no blue contours where it would be cold enough to snow on the map below.

We can look at the GFS, but even it is not bullish into the 22nd on any frozen precipitation.

The takeaway is this, there is high confidence it will be cold, and low confidence for any snow. We don’t want to dampen any white Christmas wishes, but the odds are stacked against us. However, ANYTHING can happen, so we will watch and will let you know if we see anything!

Author: Michael Griffith

I have had a passion for the weather since a very young age and am a degreed meteorologist. I have a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University and a Master's from Plymouth State University. If you ever see me out and about in the Charlotte, NC area, be sure to say hi!