Christmas Weekly Forecast – Normal’s – The Michigan Weather Center

Yesterday’s high was 34 ° and the low was 28 ° with clouds breaking momentarily to reveal a few reflections of the sun, not much but enough to know that it still exists.

We have a pretty boring weather forecast for this week leading up to Christmas. For travelers, boredom is good as they won’t have to worry about slippery roads this year. I’m looking at a model that gives us 50 ° and rain for Christmas Eve. Most models tend to be hotter than yesterday. We have a chance of snow on Tuesday night with about an inch of buildup depending on the forecast discussion – we’ll see if that actually happens.

As we move into the last week of December through January, estimates still favor near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation (snow). Below are the 30-year normals for January (look at the blue dot in Allegan County for precipitation, this is likely due to favorable locations for lakefront snow)


Forecast discussion

-- Breezy Monday --

Southwest gusts over 30 mph are being measured between Muskegon
and Ludington early this morning, and gusts 25 to 30 mph will
become common over the rest of the area during the day as mixing
depth increases. High temperatures will be a little warmer than
normal today, but after the cold front goes through this evening,
lows tonight look a little cooler than normal.

-- Chance of Snow Tuesday Night and Thursday --

Shortwaves (Alberta clippers) propagating through the upper level
flow will bring a couple chances for snow during the middle of
the week. Tuesday night`s setup looks more robust than Thursday. A
developing surface low moves right over Lower Michigan Tuesday
evening bringing a several hour burst of precipitation. The 00Z
and 06Z HRRR have come in with 1 to 2 inch snow in Central
Michigan down to I-96 while the coarser global models remain drier
along I-96. Blustery winds and temperatures falling well into the
20s can also be expected on the backside of the low during the
night. The temperature profile supports some lake effect Tuesday
night but the question will be how limited it is given the ridging
and upstream dry air. Bottom line, the snow, wind, and falling
temperatures may create some travel challenges near and north of
I-96 Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning.

Thursday`s wave at 500 mb is fairly weak but is in the left exit
region of the upper level jet. Light precipitation will likely be
produced in the warm-advecting mid levels but will have to fall
through drier air near the surface. Temperatures mostly support
snow through may warm up enough during the afternoon so that some
rain mixes in.

-- Unsettled Weather For The Holidays --

A majority of GFS and ECMWF ensemble members continue to show a
mild Christmas Eve with temperatures climbing at least into the
40s. The ECMWF ensembles lean warmer than the GFS ensembles do.
This is as a potent shortwave moving across the country trends
toward negative tilt and develops a broad low pressure system over
the Great Lakes. The median solution is for a quarter inch of
rain Friday evening / Christmas Eve but there remains substantial
variability in the ensembles. Temperatures will likely turn colder
after a period of breezy winds behind the cold front either late
Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, but the air on the backside of
the low does not look to be terribly cold and if the shortwave
pattern remains progressive, ridging will also work to keep lake
effect limited.
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