Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Weather Outlook, December 16-25, 2013

As we approach one of the busiest holiday travel periods of the year, what is the outlook for the winter weather leading up to Christmas Day, December 25, 2013?

A week ago, computer forecast models were suggesting that a massive cold wave and significant snowfall might hit eastern Nebraska over the weekend of December 20-22.  This was of particular concern since this would be the peak travel time for many people heading out of town for Christmas week.

The following is an outlook for BOTH temperature and snowfall for December 16-25, 2013

The good travel news is that the computer models have continued to trend toward a warmer and drier solution for this time period.  In the short run, Monday through Thursday should be relatively mild for eastern Nebraska with lots of sunshine. Both the Weather Channel and our local NWS office indicate that mild temperatures should last through Thursday this week with several days of 40's to near 50F.  The coldest temperatures during this time period will take place this coming Friday with highs only in the low 20's.  Temperatures should moderate again into next week right up to Christmas Day with normal to slightly above normal temperatures. 



Snowfall in Lincoln and Omaha  is unlikely during this time period based upon current forecast models. Remember that conditions can rapidly change so check your local forecasts leading up to this coming weekend. The first map shows an animation of precipitation type (blue is snow, red is ice pellets, tan is freezing rain and green is rain) for the time period December 16-23, 2013.  Note how the snowfall misses us to the north and the rain misses us to the south leaving Nebraska dry.  The third line in the map title shows the date for each map as it goes through the animation.

The next map shows the forecast total snowfall accumulation from Monday December 16 to Saturday  December 21, 2013.

The following map shows the snow covered area of North America as of Sunday December 15, 2013.   If the above forecast remains unchanged, the thin snow cover in eastern Nebraska will melt away resulting in a "brown Christmas" for eastern Nebraska.

Related Links:

Lincoln, NE Weather and Climate
Forecast maps including snowfall forecasts
Lincoln, NE Snowfall Climatology
Nebraska Weather Photos

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