Posts Tagged ‘Christmas weather’

Accuweather: Christmas Eve, Day Winter Storm to Snarl Traffic in Midwestern and Northeastern US

December 21, 2017

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AccuWeather Global Headquarters – December 21, 2017 – As millions take to the roads or prepare to fly to their destinations for the Christmas holiday, winter storms will be on the prowl in the central and eastern United States through Christmas morning, AccuWeather forecasts.

A record 107.3 million people will take to planes, trains, aircraft and buses during the period from Saturday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan 1, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

While no intense storms are forecast, there will be areas of rain, ice and snow affecting heavily populated areas and popular travel routes.

The first storm will move on to target areas from the upper Gulf coast to the lower Great Lakes, central and southern Appalachians and the Interstate 95 corridor of the Northeast with rain from Friday to Saturday.

Snow, ice and treacherous travel from the first storm will spread from the central Great Lakes to part of the central Appalachians and New England into Saturday.

Another storm to blanket Rockies, Plains and Upper Midwest with snow into Christmas Eve

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The second storm of concern will bring accumulating snow to the central Rockies, including the Denver area on Saturday, before turning eastward Saturday night and Sunday.

It is this second storm that has the greatest potential to leave some snow on the ground for a white Christmas in parts of the central Plains, Ohio Valley states and central Appalachians.

Airline delays will be possible due to deicing operations while portions of I-25, I-35, I-69, I-70, I-74, I-75, I-77, I-80 and I-90 will be slippery.

Accumulating snow is forecast in Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis; Chicago; Indianapolis; Detroit; Cleveland and Toronto as it rolls out Saturday night and Christmas Eve. Snow may cover the ground in Evansville, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; and Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio.

Snow showers may linger over the central and northern Rockies in the wake of the storm.

The same storm is also projected to spread snow into parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and western New York at night on Christmas Eve.

It is after dark on Christmas Eve, when the storm from the Midwest will attempt to join up with a budding storm along the Atlantic coast.

Third storm to bring snow to part of mid-Atlantic, New England Sunday night to Christmas Day

The track and strength of the storm, as well as the speed at which much colder air arrives, will determine the form of precipitation from parts of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey to southeastern New England from Sunday night to early Christmas Day.

At this time, all or mostly rain is forecast from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

However, snow and sleet are likely to mix in toward the end of the storm from near Allentown and Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Trenton, New Jersey; New York City; Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Boston late Sunday night to Christmas morning.

If the two storms merge together and strengthen at a fast pace, then accumulating snow may fall as far to the southwest as Washington, D.C.

The storms are likely to come together fast enough to bring a heavy snowfall for much of central and northwestern New England and northeastern New York state on Christmas Day. It is in these areas where travel to church services, friends and family may be difficult.

Elsewhere, dry weather and a wildfire risk will continue in California, while a couple of storms may bring rounds of mixed precipitation to the coastal Northwest into Christmas Day.

Much colder air entering the middle of the nation during the weekend prior to Christmas will be just the start of a frigid weather pattern for many. Aside from storms, a broadening blast of cold air will be a major factor in the weather during the week of Christmas.

The frigid air will unleash bands of lake-effect snow and may pave the way for snow and ice as additional storms are likely to come about.

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

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Accuweather: Five Major Cities Most Likely to Have a White Christmas

December 10, 2014
Accuweather predicts Milwaukee is likely to have a White Christmas (photo supplied by Accuweather).

Accuweather predicts Milwaukee is likely to have a White Christmas (photo supplied by Accuweather).

The five major US cities with the highest probability for a white Christmas, with at least one inch of snow on the ground are Minneapolis, Denver, Milwaukee, Detroit, Buffalo, according to AccuWeather.

“Many people across the country are likely dreaming of a white Christmas, some cities offer a better probability than others for snow on the ground each holiday,” reports Michael Kuhne, staff writer for AccuWeather.com.

“You need snow – on or near Christmas Day is ideal,” AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jim Andrews said. “Of course, if it happens well before Christmas, it needs to stay cold (near to below freezing) through Christmas to keep snow on the ground.”

Also, a cold snap before the snowfall is helpful in chilling the ground, he said, adding that frozen ground holds snow much better than unfrozen ground.

Areas of the interior Northeast, Upper Midwest, northern Plains, Rocky Mountains and Intermountain West offer the highest prospect of a white Christmas in the continental United States.

Take a look at five of America’s major cities with populations of more than 250,000 that are most likely to see a white Christmas each year based on NOAA’s 30-year normal data from 1981-2010.

Minneapolis

Minneapolis takes the number one spot on our list with a 77 percent likelihood of having at least an inch of snow on the ground for the Christmas holiday. The city’s December snowfall average is 11.5 inches and the snowiest Christmas on record occurred in 1945 with a snowfall total of 9.6 inches.

“Minneapolis is farthest north and the coldest of the cities [on the list],” Andrews said. “By the time you get to Christmas, the normal temperature is well below freezing; if there’s precipitation, the odds are that it will be snow rather than rain or ice.”

Denver

Taking the number two spot on the list with a 50 percent prospect of seeing a white Christmas, Denver has an average December snowfall of 8.7 inches. The snowiest Christmas Day in the Mile-High City’s recorded history occurred in 2007 with a total of 7.4 inches.

“Denver’s climate is volatile in December,” Andrews said. “It can be exceptionally warm on Christmas day with temperatures nearing 70 F, or it be near minus 20 F; those are absolute extremes.”

If the pattern is such that the normal, moderating westerly winds are shut off, the cold can hold its ground there and keep snow locked in, he added.

Milwaukee

Along with two other cities on this list, Milwaukee ties for third place with a 47 percent probability of a white Christmas. The city sees an average of 10.6 inches of snowfall in December. The snowiest Christmas in the city’s recorded history occurred in 1950 with a total of 5.7 inches of snow.

“[The probability] has to do with the normal temperature and normal precipitation in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas,” Andrews said.

Detroit

Detroit, like Milwaukee, has a 47 percent prospect of having at least 1 inch or more of snow on the ground at Christmas each year. The average snowfall for December across the Motor City is 9.7 inches.

While the 2013-2014 season marked the snowiest winter in the city’s history, Detroit’s snowiest Christmas day occurred in 1915 with a snowfall total of 7.9 inches.

“While Detroit does not benefit from lake-effect snow, it is usually cold enough [in December] for precipitation to often take the form of snow, thereby giving the city a significant chance of a white Christmas,” Andrews said.

Buffalo

As with Detroit and Milwaukee, there is a 47 percent likelihood that Buffalo will have a white Christmas each year. Buffalo has the highest December snowfall average on the list with 27.4 inches. The snowiest Christmas Day the city has seen in recorded history occurred in 2002 with a snowfall total of 8.4 inches.

“Lake-effect snow contributes to the city’s near 50 percent probability of seeing a white Christmas,” Andrews said.

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