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10-DAY OUTLOOK: Nothing "average" about it

Josh Larson @ 3:00 PM

Now that we have ruled out the chance for a White Christmas in Washington, DC -- though it will be quite cold over the next several days -- I have further bad news for snow lovers: it looks highly unlikely that any snow will fall over the next 10 days.

While today's windy, rainy weather is the result of a strong cold front that is racing across the Eastern Seaboard, and though it will usher in much colder (well below-normal) weather tomorrow through Sunday, a much milder pattern is likely to develop by the start of next week. Many long-range models suggest that a strong trough will push into the western United States by Monday, with significant ridging building into the eastern United States thereafter. That, coupled with a NAO which is expected to be considerably positive (a phase that frequently disfavors widespread cold east of the Rockies) gives me significant confidence in saying that next week will feature temperatures quite above normal for the period.

Note the sharp, robust trough over the West, and the expansive ridge over the East by the middle of next week as represented by one of the long range models. In fact, that NWS's Climate Prediction Center suggests that there is significant likelihood (>60% chance) of above-normal temperatures during the 6-10 day period; they expect near-normal precipitation, and I am inclined to agree with them. I expect that rain may fall once or twice during the period Mon, Dec 27- Sun, Jan 2.

During the period when I expect well below-normal temperatures -- Friday, Dec 24 through Sunday, Dec 26 -- temperatures will average a frosty 34/18, considerably off the average of 45/30. (Note that the coldest day during this period, fittingly, will be Christmas Day, with highs expected to be around 30, and lows in the low to mid teens.)

However, for Monday, Dec 27 through Sunday, Jan 2, I expect temperatures will average a much milder 53/36, considerably above the average of 44/29. In fact, though highs Monday will be in the mid 40s, expect temperatures to climb into the low to mid 50s by Tuesday, and they may approach the 60 degree mark by Wednesday! High temperatures will likely remain in the low to mid 50s through Saturday Jan 1.

So, the big story over the next 10 days will be the sharp cold over the next three days, followed by the unusual warmth over the following week.

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