We’re just a few more days away from Christmas, and that means everyone is going to be caught up in plans for parties, family get-togethers, church services, travel plans, etc. We’re going to take the time today to break down the forecast for the Christmas holiday weekend here locally, as well as give an overview of travel weather across the region and the nation for the big weekend ahead.
Locally here across the Tennessee Valley, we expect mild weather to carry us through the weekend on into Christmas Day on Monday. Daytime highs look to be into the low to mid 60s each day, with overnight lows ranging from the mid 40s to the low/mid 50s. For you snow lovers and those wishing for a white Christmas, that means we are unfortunately too warm for any wintry weather. In fact, it’s looking quite wet at times for our Christmas holiday weekend. A stray shower can’t be ruled out Saturday, but most folks will probably remain dry. The daytime hours of Christmas Eve on Sunday even look mainly dry, but rain is likely overnight Christmas Eve night carrying into (off and on) a large part of Christmas Day on Monday. No severe storms are expected, but some localized heavy downpours here and there may give us 0.75 to 1″ of rain through Monday night or Tuesday morning.
Above is a regional timeline breakdown of the weather across our area from Saturday through Tuesday morning. The Futurecast images above go in chronological order from left to right. You can click on each image to make it larger.
Nationally speaking, the system that swings through our area Christmas Eve into Christmas Day will be the main one to affect travel across the country. It looks to bring some areas of snow to the Rocky Mountains and Four Corners area on Saturday with rain showers spreading out into Texas and the Southern Plains. As the system ejects out on Christmas Eve, showers and a few thunderstorms look to stretch from the warm side of the storm in the Midwest, down through Texas to the Louisiana coast. Snow is likely on the back side of the system from Nebraska into Minnesota. That rain shifts through the Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys and Gulf Coast Sunday night and Monday, before it moves toward and off the East Coast late Monday night and Tuesday. No widespread MAJOR travel issues lasting long durations are likely, but there could definitely be some nasty driving weather and even some airport delays as the weather system swings across the country.
If you’re looking to travel by roadways across the Southeast this weekend, here is a breakdown of highway travel forecast conditions on the interstates across our area from Saturday through Tuesday.
Finally, here is a look at areas that stand the possibility of seeing a “White Christmas” this year. The official meteorological definition of a “White Christmas” is having 1″ or greater amounts of snow on the ground (either freshly fallen or from a previous event) on Christmas Day. For those of you in our area that were holding out hope, unfortunately, we are simply too warm for it this year. In fact, the odds of a White Christmas are slim to none across a large part of the country. We are simply in a mild weather pattern this month thanks to the strong El Nino ongoing in the equatorial Pacific. However, the system that brings us rain on Christmas looks to put down a bit of snow in the Rockies and mountains of Washington state this weekend and then from Nebraska into parts of the Dakotas to Minnesota. Those areas (shaded in cyan on the map) have the best chance of a White Christmas this year. Otherwise, it’s going to require a trip north to Canada!