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Active weather for Christmas

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Tonight: Cloudy and windy. Wind: S 9-11 mph G26 mph. Low: 32 (30-35)

Thursday, Christmas Eve: Cloudy. 100% rain. Mild and windy. Wind: S 11-14 mph G26 mph. High: 50 (47-52)

Thursday Night: Cloudy. 100% rain. Rain could be heavy at times. Wind: SE 10-15 mph G 33 mph. Low: 35 (32-38)

Forecast Discussion

A Flood Watch is in effect for the entire area from 12 PM Thursday through 12 PM Friday.

High pressure was in control today giving us a quiet day; the “calm before the storm.” Wind picks up tonight with lows in the 20s.

On Christmas Eve, a strong cold front will be approaching from the west. Ahead of this system, we'll see a southerly flow, bringing in much warmer air from the south. This will cause our temperatures to rise to near 50 for Christmas Eve. We'll also see quite a bit of rain from this system, with the heaviest rainfall coming on Thursday afternoon and night. Generally our rainfall totals will range from 1.5-3.0”. The warmer temperatures, heavy rain, and our big melting snow pack will lead to some flooding in low lying areas near small creeks and streams. Also, it will be important to make sure that all storm drains are cleared off to prevent flooding and ponding on roadways.

Behind this front will be some much colder air. Our high temperature will occur early on Christmas Day with temperatures falling rapidly throughout the day. Whatever rain we are seeing on Christmas Day will change over to some snow showers with little accumulation. The bigger problem here will be the possibility of a flash freeze as temperatures drop. Any wet roads and sidewalks will freeze over on Christmas day leading to some hazardous travel.

Quiet weather returns for the weekend with highs in the 20s. We'll start next week with the chance for some mixed rain/snow showers on Monday, and some snow showers for Tuesday.

By Wednesday highs will continue to be in the 20s.

Caitlin Westerholm

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