AgWeatherNet Weekly Weather Outlook for December 22 to December 30, 2016

Unsettled and Then Cooler for Christmas Weekend

Nic Loyd, Meteorologist, 509-786-9357

Following the first two week interval of below normal temperatures in a very long time during early to mid December, Washington experienced a rapid warm up earlier this week. It appears that the weather will split the difference in the coming days, as changeable yet fairly normal late December conditions are expected during the lead up to Christmas and beyond. Overall, unsettled conditions through early Saturday should yield to drier and calmer weather for Christmas Eve (Saturday night) through Monday, before another storm takes aim on the region by Tuesday.

On Friday, a low pressure area will spread precipitation across the state, although the details are unclear. Timing and amounts are not certain, but in general, the west can expect a chance of rain showers, while snow or rain is likely east of the Cascades. In fact, parts of central or eastern Washington could see several inches of wet snow. As the disturbance slowly translates to the east, drying conditions on Christmas Eve should transition to a cool but benign Christmas Day and Monday. Finally, a strengthening jet stream may steer another storm into Washington on Tuesday. Unlike the complex Friday system, which may bring higher precipitation totals to eastern areas, the Tuesday storm looks to be more traditional. Western rain and mountain snow are anticipated, along with at least a partial central Washington precipitation shadow.

In general, a mixed bag of unsettled conditions on Friday should transition to colder and drier weather for Christmas, before another milder storm arrives on Tuesday.

Given all of this information, the question about a white Christmas remains. While snow will not likely be falling anywhere on Christmas morning, there should be some snow cover left on the ground in especially northern parts of central and eastern Washington. Even those eastern areas that have lost or are losing their recent snowpack have one more chance to remedy the recent depletion coming up on Friday into early Saturday. In any event, Bing Crosby reminds us that the secret of Christmas is not the glow you feel when snow appears. Although that sentiment is entirely true, the appearance of December snow is certainly nice as well.

Temperatures
  • Becoming cooler by Christmas.
  • Warmer later next week.

Precipitation
  • A chance of rain or snow on Friday and Saturday.
  • A chance of precipitation beginning around next Tuesday.

Wind
  • Breezy at times.

10 to 16 Day Outlook - December 31, 2016 to January 6, 2017
  • Overall, near 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 mid 30s to mid 40s and lows in the 20s to low 30s.
Holiday Weekend
  • A chance of rain or snow, especially on Friday.
  • Mostly dry on Christmas Day.
  • Highs trending from the 30s to mid 40s early to the mid 20s to mid 30s by Christmas Day.
  • Lows in the 20s early, and cooler by Christmas morning.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry on Monday. A slight chance of rain or snow beginning on Tuesday.
  • Highs in the mid 20s to mid 30s on Monday, and then warmer.
  • Lows in the teens to mid 20s on Monday morning, and then warmer.

North Central Washington
  • Normal conditions for this time of the year would be highs in the 30s and lows in the low to mid 20s.
Holiday Weekend
  • A chance of snow, especially on Friday.
  • Mostly dry on Christmas Day.
  • Highs trending from the 30s early to the mid 20s to low 30s by Christmas Day.
  • Lows in the 20s early, and cooler by Christmas morning.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry on Monday. A slight chance of snow or rain beginning on Tuesday.
  • Highs in the mid 20s to low 30s on Monday, and then warmer.
  • Lows in the teens to mid 20s on Monday morning, and then warmer.

Eastern Washington
  • Normal conditions for this time of the year would be highs in the mid 30s to around 40 and lows in the 20s to around 30.
Holiday Weekend
  • A chance of snow or rain, especially on Friday or Saturday morning.
  • Mostly dry on Christmas Day.
  • Highs trending from the 30s to low 40s early to the mid 20s to low 30s by Christmas Day.
  • Lows in the 20s early, and cooler by Christmas morning.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry on Monday. A slight chance of snow or rain beginning on Tuesday.
  • Highs in the mid 20s to low 30s on Monday, and then warmer.
  • Lows in the teens to low 20s on Monday morning, and then warmer.

Western Washington
  • Normal conditions for this time of the year would be highs in the mid 40s to around 50 and lows in the mid to upper 30s.
Holiday Weekend
  • A chance of rain or possibly snow showers at times.
  • Mostly dry on Christmas Day.
  • Highs trending from the 40s early to the mid 30s to low 40s by Christmas Day.
  • Lows in the upper 20s to 30s early, and cooler by Christmas morning.
Next Week
  • Mostly dry on Monday. A chance of rain starting on Monday night or Tuesday, possibly beginning as snow.
  • Highs in the mid 30s to mid 40s on Monday, and then warmer.
  • Lows in the mid 20s to mid 30s on Monday morning, and then warmer.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from AgWeatherNet!
Washington State University