Garrett’s Blog: Christmas Storm System; Travel Impacts Possible

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

There appears to be a major winter system taking shape on Christmas Day across the central plains and upper midwest. The system will create travel problems from Dec 25 – Dec 30th across the Plains, Midwest, Great Lakes, & NYC/Northeast.

At this point… some form of precipitation is expected on Christmas Day in Arkansas and Oklahoma; likely rain at this point but we’ll be watching the system evolution closely for the possibility of winter weather too. A major snow storm will occur somewhere in the upper Mississippi River Valley. If snow becomes possible on Christmas Day it would be late in the day and possibly more towards the 26th or even 27th. I don’t want to downplay the system, but I’m not a fan of the week-out computer model “White Christmas” hype either. Just know there will be a strong system with travel impacts towards the end of next week.

It’s too early to know the exact details so don’t hold your breath for snow, but if you have travel planned… follow the forecast closely. In our area a snow forecast a week out isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Should know more in the next few days as model consensus comes into better agreement.

Here’s what I’m watching in particular… if the system in the Northeast later this week moves northwards towards Nova Scotia and Greenland, than it would leave a large ‘blocking’ high pressure ridge in the northeast. You would expect the Arctic air to be forced to lower latitudes (and yes, into our area) as a result of the blocking high in the northeast.

Perhaps most overlooked and lost in today’s White Christmas buzz is the possibility of light snow accumulations on Thursday morning of this week on the heels of Wednesday’s system. Doesn’t look like it would be cold enough to cause problems at this point because of highs rapidly warming into the upper 30s and 40s, but there’s a chance we could see a few more snowflakes (like last week’s snow in Poteau and Paris) on Thursday morning.

The devil… as always… is in the details.