Weather Unsettled and Mild Through Christmas –

Posted: Monday, December 22, 2014

Mild is the theme for the next week or so as the arctic air continues to be scarce across much of the country. Eventually, there is going to be a pattern shift as we head into the final few days of the month and the month of January, but I am not convinced New England is going to see the core of this cold, yet.

The storm track this week is far to our west and when this happens we end up on the very warm side of a storm. Strong southerly winds bring mild air very far north and will make it feel like spring for several days.

Weve been hearing about a storm for Christmas Eve for a while and that is still on target. As a matter of fact I believe we have several rounds of showers or steady rain to move through starting late tonight and continuing into Christmas morning.

Some of the periods of showers might be heavy Christmas Eve and again Christmas morning. When the rainfall is finally over anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of rain will have fallen across the region. This pattern will bring a good amount of rain, but not flood worthy, beyond urban street flooding or perhaps some of the smaller streams.

I’ll be updating my thoughts on the forecast throughout the week here and on Twitter @growingwisdom. Feel free to ask any questions there too.

Theres actually going to be a couple of areas of low pressure riding on the jet stream Tuesday through Friday. The map below shows the flow of air at 30,000 feet. At this level, also known as the jet stream, winds are often at their strongest. The U shape in the jet stream creates very warm air on the right and colder air on the left. The contrast between the two is why storms form. Since the axis of the U or trough is so far to the west of New England, the strongest effects of the storm will remain west.

jet stream 122414.png

This isnt to say we wont have wind, rain and some minor splash over along the coastline, but any flooding that does occur would be minor and insignificant.
Winds will be gusty Wednesday night and Thursday and along the coast, where winds can exceed 30 knots, isolated power outages could occur, but the theme will be isolated, not widespread.

Logan Airport will likely see some delays when winds are gusty or when the rain is very heavy, but again this is not a storm that will have enormous direct impacts. There can be ripple effects to air travel as other airports have issues. I dont suspect massive problems as we have seen in past years.

The map below shows where the storm will be on Christmas Eve. The black lines or isobars represent air pressure. The tighter the lines are together the stronger the wind.

60 hour gfs.png

I think the most interesting variable youll be talking about on Christmas will be the temperatures near 60F. If we do reach 60F on Christmas it will be one of only a handful of times this has occurred making this one of the milder December 25ths on record. Although we came close in 1982 when we hit 59F, Logan Airport hasn’t recorded a 60 degree reading in 50 years.


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