Much of the U.S. have been bitterly cold in the last week as shots of Arctic air have been coming down from Canada. With that said many northern areas of the country have a snowpack, so will we see a white Christmas? Bellow is an image from the National Weather Service show snow depth in inches.
Forecast models are consistent on bringing a strong low pressure through the northern Plains over the holiday weekend. For Michigan this means warm air advection will spread in the area and bring some rain. The above freezing temperatures and rain could melt much of the snow pack. It looks like as of now the rain will hold off in Michigan until Boxing Day. Temperatures in Lower Michigan look to reach the mid 40s and 30s in the upper peninsula. The warm up will be brief as a strong cold front will swing through Tuesday. With divergence aloft at 250 mb and vorticity advection at 500mb the low in the Plains should deepen rapidly. It’s forecasted to be a 980 mb low in northern Minnesota. This would bring windy conditions to the northern Plains and some accumulating snow to North Dakota. The heaviest snows at this time stay in Manitoba with this storm. Out west, the trough that will undergo lee cyclogenesis east of the Rockies will bring some much needed rain to California towards the end of this week. It’ll also bring some rain to the Pacific Northwest and snow in higher elevations.
Overall the forecast for the holiday weekend looks to be manageable for the Eastern U.S. temperatures will be above freezing in most places allowing for snow melt. Some rain will move in ahead of a cold front after Christmas. Travel in North Dakota looks to be the most in question this weekend with a strong low pressure poised to bring snow and wind.