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Turning Snowy and Colder for Christmas?


Rain & Snow Low Pressure system in the Great Lakes on December 23rd/24th
Rain & Snow Low Pressure system in the Great Lakes on December 23rd/24th


The weather pattern is looking favorable for a storm system around the 23rd or 24th, which is next Wednesday/Thursday. Yes, Christmas is that close! Behind this system, the coldest air of the season will likely move in, just in time for Christmas.


How exactly the system times out and where exactly it goes will be key for the 23rd and Christmas Eve. Accumulating snow looks likely, but enough warm air may sneak in from the south for some rain as well. We will have to watch this system closely because, unlike this past Saturday, even areas that might begin as rain will probably transition to snow as a strong push of cold air moves in behind the Low. The image at the top of this blog shows the afternoon GFS model suggesting the Low Pressure over Michigan. The storm system is likely and has plenty of potential to produce accumulating snow, but the details are uncertain.



Two different possible storm tracks for Christmas Eve "Eve" and Christmas Eve.
Two different possible storm tracks for Christmas Eve "Eve" and Christmas Eve.


This image shows that the track of the Low Pressure is not set in stone. The southern track would result in more snow across central and southern lower MI, while the northern track would result in even more snow for northern Michigan, after they already got dumped on this past Saturday.


Once the Low Pressure departs to the east, the coldest air of the season so far moves into the Great Lakes. This means highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits/teens for Christmas Day and the 26th or so. This cold air combined with gusty northwest winds will likely kick up the lake effect machine quite a bit, so lake effect snow showers are likely after the Low Pressure exits the region. Those lake effect snow belts, especially, could be in just the right place for a fresh snow pack on Christmas.



Cold temperatures behind the Low Pressure system, potentially on Christmas morning.
Cold temperatures behind the Low Pressure system, potentially on Christmas morning.


Although not necessarily certain for all of Lower Michigan, it looks like many of us have a good chance at a white Christmas this year! Here's a look at the 5+5 day forecast for inland mid-Michigan and the Lansing area.



Wednesday evening 5+5 Day Forecast for Lansing area
Wednesday evening 5+5 Day Forecast for Lansing area

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