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National Weather at 205pm Christmas Eve Day 2004


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Evacuating the arctic chill

2:07 P.M. ET 12/24/2004


M. Ressler, Sr. Meteorologist, The Weather Channel





A weak disturbance and front will produce light snow from the Dakotas to the Great Lakes during Christmas Day with only minor accumulations. High temperatures on Saturday will be in the teens around the Great Lakes, some 5 to 20 degrees below average. Meanwhile, temperatures will rebound into the 40s and 50s in the Plains this weekend and warmer air will head into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley by Monday. Other than some snow showers along the Canadian border, the Midwest will be precipitation free Monday through Wednesday. Mild air will invade the region as winds switch to the southwest. Temperatures will range from near average to as much as 20 degrees above average by midweek. This means upper teens and 20s along the Canadian border to 50s and 60s in Kansas and 40s and 50s in Missouri and Kentucky. The record Ohio Valley snows will be melting fast.



An upper-level disturbance moving through the Great Lakes later Saturday and Sunday could produce light snow from Upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania to northern and central New England. On Monday as the disturbance exits the region and intensifies low pressure offshore, several inches of snow could accumulate across central and southern New England. Thereafter, the Northeast will be mostly dry through Thursday. After daytime high temperatures 5 to 15 degrees below average Christmas Day (single digits and teens northern Maine to 30s in Virginia), highs will dramatically rebound to between average and 7 degrees above average Tuesday through Thursday (20s and 30s Maine to 50s Virginia).



Disturbances along a strong subtropical jet stream will bring a soaking rain to the Florida peninsula this weekend. Light rain will extend northward from time to time into southern Georgia and the coastal Carolinas. The northern fringe of the precipitation may be in the form of sleet from time to time. High temperatures will be 5 to near 20 degrees below average from southern Texas to the Southeast Coast and Florida on Saturday (ranging from the 30s in Tennessee to the 40s and 50s in Texas and northern Florida). The South will be almost precipitation free Monday through Wednesday with temperatures rebounding to well above average levels. Daytime highs will be in the 60s and 70s almost region-wide by Thursday.



The dry weather pattern across the West is in jeopardy. One upper-level system will move southward along the West Coast Saturday through Monday. Rain and lowering snow levels will hit western portions of Washington and Oregon Saturday, northern California Sunday and all of California Monday. Strong gusty westerly winds will continue in parts of Montana and Wyoming Christmas Day. This system will move into the Southwest Tuesday and Wednesday and then into the Plains Thursday. Then a second storm will into the West Wednesday and Thursday with West Coast and Southwest showers and interior snow. Temperatures in the Far West will be average to slightly below and temperatures from the eastern slopes of the Rockies into the high Plains will be above average.

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