I've been watching the weather pattern closely to see if eastern North Carolina could get a few snowflakes for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I've finally concluded the chances are near zero this year. In fact, the rest of this week should have highs in the 60s, with the chance we could see lower 70s on Wednesday. Most of the real cold air remains bottled up in the Arctic and shows no signs of moving in our direction anytime soon. We will see some cooling by Christmas Day into next week. I do think western North Carolina could see some snowflakes by early next week but the chances for eastern North Carolina are not as good. Last year we got several inches of snow the day after Christmas. We will see colder air arrive early next week as a storm tires to develop off the Southeast coast. However, the air may not be cold enough to change any rain over to snow. We'll continue to watch that possibility and any other storms that may try to develop next week.
Longer-range models are suggesting a big warm up during the first two weeks of January. It is not unusual to see these warm ups during the winter in our area. In fact, as a kid I remember shooting baskets out in the yard in a t-shirt during late December and January. I remember temperatures in the middle to upper 70s during the heart of the winter so don't be surprised if we see a taste of that kind of weather this winter. Stay prepared though since usually we get a nice taste of winter after those warm ups.
I've been checking the averages for the first 19 days of December and we're about 2 degrees above normal with no wintry threats. It has to be a restless winter for those of us who would love to see some wintry weather. Just remember that winter is far from over and sometimes the best comes later in the season. I'll give another update by the end of December.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!