Astronomical winter began at 5:02 a.m. Monday morning, marking the shortest day of the year. The day will last nine hours, four minutes and 36 seconds.
Despite the official start to winter, we’re looking at an extended period of temperatures above freezing – likely starting on Wednesday afternoon and not dropping below freezing until sometime Christmas Day.
Yesterday, a little burst of snow dumped one to three inches from central Massachusetts straight through to southern New Hampshire. Sadly, that’ll be as close as we come to getting (falling) snow for the holiday.
Our next weather system is already making headlines in the Pacific Northwest.
A long train of rain is moving through Seattle as the storm moves ashore near Puget Sound. It will only deepen and gather more precipitation as it moves through the High Plains and the Great Lakes. By the time it gets to us, there will be a fistful of rain and a howling wind to contend with.
Mild air will also plow ahead of the low pressure center. Highs will soar from near-normal levels of the upper 30s to near 40 in the coming days to the mid and upper 50s by late Christmas Eve.
If you’re fretting for the snow, I suspect much of it is in jeopardy. We’re looking for an extended period of temperatures above freezing – likely starting on Wednesday afternoon and not dropping below freezing until sometime Christmas Day.
Winds are the big worry. A strong jet stream will propel the storm along and also create gusts to 40 to 50 mph or more into Christmas Eve. Poor timing for Santa and any personal plans into the night. Outages are possible with the long duration of the event and the projected wind speeds.
Temperatures on the back side of the storm will come crashing to the ground Christmas Day. Like the rainfall, timing still needs to be refined as we get closer to the storm, but there’s likely to be a quick freeze setting in during the afternoon.
We’ll keep you apprised of the situation in the days ahead. Enjoy the relative quiet in the meantime.