Arctic Blast Expected Christmas Weekend

Christmas weekend is going to be very cold for the eastern half of the country. A very cold continental Arctic (cA) air mass is going to advance south out of Canada.

The latest 6 to 10 day temperature outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows that the eastern half of the country is very likely to experience below average temperatures.

To put into context just how cold it is going to be, most places will experience temperatures roughly 20 to 35 degrees (Fahrenheit) below average.

The Arctic front, which will be associated with a strong midlatitude cyclone, will sweep through the Gulf Coast region Thursday into Friday. Temperatures will drop immediately behind the front.

GFS projected 2M AGL temperatures for 12 PM CST Friday afternoon. (Image: Tropical Tidbits)

Showers/storms will be possible along/ahead of the front. However, no severe weather is expected at this time. While there could be some wintry precipitation for parts of far north Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Thursday/Friday, it is too early to say anything other than that the potential is there.

It is unlikely any frozen precipitation would make it is far south as the Gulf Coast. If you see any social media posts saying otherwise at this time treat it for what it is: clickbait.

Most of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Alabama will likely experience temperatures in the single digits and teens Thursday night, and many areas, with the exception of areas near the coast, will not get above freezing all day Friday and Saturday.

Overnight/morning lows will range in the single digits to teens/20s again Friday night across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

Forecast minimum temperatures for Saturday, December 24, 202. (Image: WPC/NWS/NOAA)

High temperatures Saturday will range in the 20s and 30s. Most areas will likely see temperatures below freezing again Saturday night with highs in the twenties to lower 40s Sunday.

Strong winds in the wake of the front will result in dangerous wind chill values below zero and in the single digits across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Alabama Friday morning. Dangerous wind chill values will again be likely Friday night/Saturday morning, including in the Florida Panhandle.

It does look like temperatures may moderate some toward the middle of next week.

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Caleb Carmichael
Caleb Carmichael

Caleb is the owner of Gulf Coast Storm Center. He is currently an undergraduate student at Mississippi State University majoring in geoscience with a concentration in broadcast and operational meteorology. While not yet a meteorologist, Caleb has been providing weather updates, news, and analysis for the Gulf Coast since 2014.

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