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The last week of December is going out with another round of record warm weather in the East while the West remains the cold spot. For the U.S. overall the week is the warmest in 10 years (see chart bottom left) with off the charts rainfall, especially in the Central U.S. where 5" amounts and more severe weather and flooding are possible. (LARGER MAP VIEW)
The first week of January cools off a bit but when you go from record warm a cold front can only bring things back to normal in the Southeast so nothing epic cold. Most of the air mass is originating from a modified Pacific Polar origin so it's greatly modified by the time it gets to the Northeast. For the U.S. overall the week still trends near average and the warmest in 4 years..a wholesale change from the prior two years that were frigid cold. Precipitation looks to dry out as the pattern shifts further South and yes that's heavy rain for Southern California! The week appears to be the wettest in 11 years for Los Angeles with 1-1.5" of rain and possibly the wettest in 21 years for San Diego with 2.5" of rain to start January. With a near record strong El Nino, it's virtually impossible to get epic cold which isn't likely this winter in the East and yes that includes February! The sub-tropical Jet Stream is just too strong and keeps the weather pattern moving very fast not allowing the Polar Vortex to invade Eastern North America. (LARGER MAP VIEW)
For Northeast snow lovers the seasons first moderate snow event is likely Monday night - Tuesday but again just barely cold enough for snow. There will be a transition period of sleet and freezing rain so this will be a sloppy icy mess when all is said and done. Most ski resorts in the East are closed and those that are open are not fully open. It will most likely be middle January before East Coast resorts are fully open - a big change from last year when most were open in mid to late November. 6-day Snowfall Outlook visit our facebook fan page for an animation
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas folks! - Capt Kirk out.
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