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Is a Warm and Quiet Christmas Ahead for the Central US?

It feels like a growing annual tradition in the weeks leading up to Christmas to hold a debate on how climatologically likely it really is to see snow on the ground on December 25th in insert-your-city-here, USA. Of course it's often far less likely than we perceive it to be, and when looking at trends over the last 70 years the month of December isn't getting any snowier.

The forecast for a moderately strong El Niño to peak over the 2023-24 winter cast some early doubt on just how snowy the early winter may be, and that mild & dry long-range speculation is becoming a near-term reality.

I certainly won't blame any snow-lovers who are still holding out hope for a white Christmas, but the latest 8-14 day temperature forecast gives a strong vote of confidence for unseasonably mild conditions across essentially the entire Lower 48, and a quite, dry weather pattern across all but the Southwest U.S. (where an atmospheric river event may create some holiday chaos).

The storm track is expected to open up east of the Rockies eventually, but much of this activity is expected to hold off until the final days of December into early January.


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