Dreaming of a White Christmas? Dream On

It has been a meteorological winter of mud, rain, and warmth.

Two full weeks in to the meteorological winter season, which begins December 1st and ends March 1st, no winter weather of significance has impacted our area. That, in itself, isn’t all that notable. December of 2014 also featured above normal temperatures and very little winter weather. 2015, however, has been much more notable on almost all facets — with record shattering warm temperatures and prolonged above normal temperature departures.

On Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend, daily high temperature records were broken at almost all of the NYC 5-Boro’s weather reporting stations. New York City (Central Park) broke their daily high temperature record on Sunday before the clock even reached 10:30am. Central and Southern New Jersey? Forget it: Temperatures there soared into the lower 70’s, breaking records as well.

After a cold front crosses the region Monday Night into Tuesday, temperatures will take a gradual step-down into the weekend. In fact, highs this weekend, specifically on Friday and Saturday, may not make it much further than the lower 50’s. While this will certainly feel like a shock to the system after several days of ridiculous warmth, it certainly won’t be wintry. And it also won’t last long. The next warmup will begin just a day or two after the cold(er) air settles in.

Fueling the warmth is a large, anomalous trough over the Western United States. Known more technically as -PNA (Pacific North American Oscillation), a large and expansive trough over the Western and Southwestern United States allows a large ridge to develop along the East Coast. With no high latitude blocking, or arctic air, to speak of, this ridge draws in some incredibly mild air. Temperatures, as a result, are above average — and with the trough in the West projected to be impressive, it appears the above normal temperatures on the East Coast will be as well.

GFS model showing a large trough in the Western US, building a large ridge in the Eastern US around Christmas.

GFS model showing a large trough in the Western US, building a large ridge in the Eastern US around Christmas.

Timed precariously, this ridge looks to peak near the East Coast around Christmas. We can almost hear Santa sighing from here.

Medium and long range global forecast models are in very good agreement, with above normal temperatures looking highly likely east of Mississippi River. In fact, the GFS is so hell-bent on warm air, it suggests the Christmas “warmwave” will be more prolific than the one we just experienced, with temperatures of 20-24 degrees above normal.

Will it be that warm? Medium range model trends will tell us more as we get closer to Christmas. A White Christmas, however, is looking just about as unlikely as it possibly could be.

For now, it looks like Ol’ Man Winter is still hibernating.

You’ll have to subscribe to our Premium Products to see when we think he’ll wake up.