Seasonal Weather Outlook: December 2016

A white Christmas for Thurston County?

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas – or at least of an opportunity to get out and play in the snow with your little ones – you’re going to get your wish. Weather models indicate this holiday season, will include some snow and plenty of cold weather.

That’s because an abundance of very, very cold air is crossing the Pacific from our Russian Comrades in far northwest Siberia. That is the coldest place in the Northern Hemisphere. Siberia’s average high temperature in December and January is minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the high temp folks. The low temperatures can drop to minus 50 to minus 80 degrees below zero.

Get your mittens ready!

Expect extremely cold and dense air masses to flow from this artic region in early December. The air will be significantly warmed over the ocean before it beats us up, but it will still be below freezing and deliver our first shot of snow, even after travelling thousands of miles over the Pacific.
Once this pattern starts, it will likely persist for a while as the jet stream (that narrow band of strong wind that circles the globe several miles above land) tries to adjust to a huge high pressure ridge in its way. This could push the cold air mass as far south as the tropics, and wreak havoc with precipitation patterns. If the cold air dips that far south, it will pick up tropical moisture as it rebounds north. This tropical moisture will translate into very heavy snow and rain at the margins of the cold air mass. Models indicate that this margin, or intersection, will be right over Thurston County, and will keep us in a very active weather pattern as we experience the war between warm and cold air.

Will snow affect Santa’s Trek?

The good news is that Santa knows how to get through all kinds of bad weather. Although he will need the red glow of Rudolph’s now to guide him through the snow. For those who are young (or young at heart), you can track Santa’s journey online. There’s the Google Santa
Tracker and the NORAD Santa Tracker The google countdown clock for Santa’s arrival has already started. Check it out! If however, you’ll be in the Southern Hemisphere for the holidays, Christmas is in the summer. Here’s my forecast for you: No snow. Now that is an easy prediction when it comes to holiday weather!

For everyone else, enjoy the cold and snow here in Thurston County, and keep warm!

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