Updated Dec. 17th: Dreaming of a White Christmas?
Each time we get really cold air moving in from the north, there's a small chance for a few flurries, or it's raining, it seems a lot of people start chatting about snow. So far, we haven't seen much. Some areas are still waiting to see their very first flurries of the season.
With the Christmas holiday getting closer, it's a good time to chat about our chances of seeing snow on Christmas. The National Weather Service (NWS), in Paducah, has put together some great stats you might want to check out. Looking back over the past decade or so, it's not too surprising that a white Christmas isn't something we get very often. In fact, since 1995 we've only had snow for Christmas four times. During three of those, the NWS in Paducah only measured a trace of snow. (Which technically isn't a white Christmas. The NWS defenition requires 1" on the ground). Of course, the fourth Christmas on the list was in 2004. It was a doozy too! Paducah and Carbondale both had 9" on the ground. Since then, our Christmases have been lacking in snowfall. All current weather trends aside, our yearly chance for a white Christmas is only about 15%.
So, how are things looking for Christmas 2009??? We're getting closer and the forecast is starting to come into focus. It could be a very interesting week of weather, which could impact regional travelers and last minute shoppers. It appears a large storm system will take shape out west and then swing somewhere across the mid south. Models have had some trouble picking a path for the system, which isn't all that uncommon this far out. The storm's track will determine the answers to the "what type" and "how much" questions. These answers should become a little more clear in the next few days. The Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 day outlook (seen below), calls for our temperatures to be well below average. The average high on Christmas Day is 44, with a low of 25. The other half to the story shows precipitation is also expected to be above average (a change from the 8-14 day outlook).
Just as our plans change, sometimes so does the weather. This blog entry is meant to answer a few questions, provide the info we have right now and be fun! Of course, we'll have the latest forecast for you on Local 6. Until then, I hope this outlook sheds a little light on what is sure to be on many minds through the next week!
Meteorologist Kyle Mounce