Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Weather Outlook for December 18 - 25, 2013

Update on the wintry weather outlook for December 18-25, 2013

The upcoming weekend of December 20-22, 2013 will be one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Two separate winter storms will develop and move across portions of the lower 48 states.

This posting will outline the weather forecast for our area through Christmas and then the outlook for the lower 48 states for the same time period

NWS FORECAST December 18-22:  Mild today, December 18; Thursday much colder with a chance of freezing drizzle in the afternoon and evening.  Slight chance of snow on Saturday

WEATHER CHANNEL FORECAST December 18-27: Similar to the NWS with an extended outlook into next week, mainly dry with near normal temperatures.

The following animated map shows the precipitation type for the period December 18-25.  The 3rd line shows the date of each of the maps.  
Blue is snowfall; red is ice pellets; tan is freezing rain and green is rain.  

At the current time (December 18) it appears that southeast Nebraska will be only slightly impacted by these two winter storm between now and Christmas Day.  

Southeast Nebraska (Lincoln-Omaha) has the potential for some icy precipitation on Thursday December 19 while the main snow area moves over the Great Lakes region.  

A major snow storm develops in the southern Plains and moves northeastward up toward Chicago and the Great Lakes on December 21-22.  Travel should be significantly impacted over the weekend, especially Sunday, for Chicago's O'Hare airport.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day look relatively quiet across the region with (note the last two maps in the animation) a potential snowfall moving into most of Nebraska from the northwest on December 25.

A map showing the forecast total snowfall for the area from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast is located below the animated map.

TOTAL SNOWFALL DECEMBER 18-23 (Two forecast maps):  Important point to remember, these are forecasts and only a slight change in the path of either storm could shift the anticipated paths of these two storms, so keep checking your local forecast before heading out on any long distance trips.  It is also important to note that there will be slight differences between various forecast models making it difficult to have 100% accuracy in a forecast when there is a divergence of "opinion" in these models.

The following map (December 18-23, 2013) shows another computer model solution for the total snowfall and in this model the area of snowfall accumulation is further north and covers southeast Nebraska (Lincoln-Omaha).

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