Tuesday December 22 2020

We still have an arctic front on the way for Christmas. It will be preceded by some heavy rain and warm temps. It will be followed by an abrupt drop of temps with some getting a flash freeze and most into a deep freeze.  But what about all of that snow talk?

In my last few reports, I have been trying to shift the attention to the weather set up AFTER the arctic front for what I think will bring the better chance for more to see snow. I am now more confident that is the better call, and it may bring some snow for more of our region at a better time.

Here is a brief summary of what is likely to happen:

GFS Model Animation

This does not show the whole story. See my notes and more maps below.

December 22 Christmas rain snow



Christmas Eve Day:

  • Developing rain, will be heavy at times. Totals may be over 1 inch.
  • Some thunder may rumble.
  • Temps push into the 50s to near 60ºF at night.

Arctic Front:

  • The timing should pass between 10 PM to 5 AM (Christmas Day)
  • Rain will mix and change to snow showers before ending.
  • Best chance for stickage: A coating or more west and north of Baltimore.
  • Flash Freeze: Ice will try to form in metro areas, and most likely inland.
  • Snow shower and flurries may fall near the Bay and northern Delmarva. But the impact will be minimal.

I will have more specific details and a map to explain this in tomorrow’s update.



*Timing this frontal passage has been a challenge.

December 22 weather rain snow Christmas Eve


Temperatures After The Front Passes


December 22 weather Christmas temperatures 4 AM


Christmas Day Afternoon and Overnight

Arctic air fully in place. Flurries and snow showers will develop and could be enough to coat the ground where they pass.

Two prime times for snow bursts: (See slider below)

  • 3 to 8 PM Friday
  • Midnight to 4 AM Saturday


Vorticity (Spin in Jet Stream Around 18,000 Ft)

Tracking the upper level energy and Vort Max still supports a break out of snow showers

Timeline —> slider

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The prime times for the Vort Max passage and snow showers brings the first potential during the daylight on Christmas when most will be awake to see them.  This is better than overnight in the dark, right?

December 22 weather Christmas snow vorticity Friday PM 7 Close



December 22 weather Christmas snow vorticity Saturday AM 1 close




Christmas Morning

December 22 weather Christmas temperatures 7 AM



Christmas Afternoon

December 22 weather Christmas temperatures 4 PM


December 22 weather Christmas wind chill 4 PM



Temperature Outlook 

Notice the lower 60s for both Dec 24 an 25. This is a function of the timing, as the GFS model has slowed the front passing Baltimore until just after midnight.  That Friday high temperature is deceiving, because most of the afternoon will be in the 20s.


December 22 weather temperature outlook


Winter Outlook Series

Winter Outlook 2021 Tropical Hints

Winter Outlook Polar Vortex Arctic Oscillation

Winter Outlook Solar Minimum

Early Winter October

Winter Outlook Series Weather Folklore


Winter Outlook 2021 La Nina Advisory

Winter Outlooks Farmers Almanacs



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Washington DC





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December 5 Snowfall History Start Of Faith in the Flakes

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