AgWeatherNet Weekly Weather Outlook for December 24, 2015 to January 1, 2016

White Christmas Likely for the Northern Half of Eastern Washington

Nic Loyd, Meteorologist, 509-786-9357
Gerrit Hoogenboom, Director, 509-786-9371

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least in Washington's mountains, as recent storms have pushed the late December snowpack to slightly above normal levels for the first time in a long time. Even for the lowlands, cooling temperatures will mean that most locations east of the Cascades that presently have a healthy snow cover can expect a White Christmas. Generally, everyone north of a line from Yakima to Moses Lake to Pullman should wake up to the white stuff on Friday morning. Despite the lack of snow falling from the sky, chilly temperatures may add a bit of Holiday Spirit to the air.

In terms of day to day weather, any lingering snow or rain showers on Christmas Eve are likely to surrender to drier and calmer conditions for Christmas Day into the weekend. The main issue is expected to be the colder lowland temperatures, as drier continental air moves into the region. In fact, certain areas with snow cover that experience a clear and calm night this coming weekend could conceivably fall to near 0 degrees. Lest anyone begin to worry, however, there is no arctic intrusion on the horizon, and such a temperature reading would be very isolated and brief. Most locations will not approach zero degrees, and any place that plunges into the single digits overnight should not be there for long. Another issue is the potential for inversions and fog / freezing fog starting around Saturday, although the extent and timing of such events are difficult at best. A weak disturbance may begin to affect western Washington later on Sunday, before moving into the eastern portion of the state on Monday. By the middle of next week, a stronger ridge of high pressure could build over the region. The details are not clear yet, but in any case, warmer weather seems quite possible as we approach the New Year. It is too far in the future to know for certain, but indications are that an El Nino-like pattern might return for the start of 2016, so enjoy the snow this week.

Temperatures
  • Cooling to slightly below normal by Christmas Day.
  • Becoming warmer next week.

Precipitation
  • Lingering light snow or western rain showers possible into Christmas Eve Day.
  • Drier for Christmas Day into the weekend.
  • Weak storms possible at times next week.

Wind
  • Generally light breezes.

Frost Risk Summary
  • Christmas Eve Through This Weekend: Moderate to high risk on Thursday morning, and then high risk.
  • Next Week: Moderate to high risk.

8 to 14 Day Outlook - December 31, 2015 to January 6, 2016
  • Overall, near to above average temperatures and near average precipitation are expected during the 8 to 14 day time frame.

Important Points about Next Week's Weather

South Central Washington
  • Normal conditions for this time of the year would be highs in the upper 30s to low 40s and lows in the mid 20s to around 30.
Christmas Eve Through This Weekend
  • A slight chance of rain or snow on Thursday, and then drier.
  • Highs in the 30s on Thursday, and then cooler.
  • Lows in the 20s to around 30 on Thursday morning, and then cooler.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry. A slight chance of rain or snow at times.
  • Highs in the 30s early, and warmer later in the week.
  • Lows in the 20s early, and warmer later in the week.

North Central Washington
  • Normal conditions for this time of the year would be highs in the mid 30s and lows in the low to mid 20s.
Christmas Eve Through This Weekend
  • A chance of snow on Thursday, and then drier.
  • Highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s on Thursday, and then cooler.
  • Lows in the 20s on Thursday morning, and then cooler.
Next Week
  • A slight chance of snow or rain at times.
  • Highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s early, and warmer later in the week.
  • Lows in the 20s early, and warmer later in the week.

Eastern Washington
  • Normal conditions for this time of the year would be highs in the upper 30s and lows in the mid to upper 20s.
Christmas Eve Through This Weekend
  • A chance of snow on Thursday, and then drier.
  • Highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s on Thursday, and then cooler.
  • Lows in the 20s on Thursday morning, and then cooler.
Next Week
  • A slight chance of rain or snow at times.
  • Highs in the upper 20s to 30s early, and warmer later in the week.
  • Lows in the 20s early, and warmer later in the week.

Western Washington
  • Normal conditions for this time of the year would be highs in the mid to upper 40s and lows in the mid to upper 30s.
Christmas Eve Through This Weekend
  • A chance of rain or possibly snow showers on Thursday, and then drier.
  • A chance of rain developing on Sunday.
  • Highs in the upper 30s to 40s on Thursday, and then cooler.
  • Lows in the 30s on Thursday morning, and then cooler.
Next Week
  • A slight chance of rain at times.
  • Highs in the 40s to low 50s early, and warmer later in the week.
  • Lows in the 30s to low 40s early, and warmer later in the week.
Please note that the next weekly weather outlook will be issued on January 8, 2016. The AgWeatherNet team wishes you a blessed and joyous Merry Christmas!
Washington State University