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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

11:00 AM | White Christmas hopes live on; big mid-week storm follows as active pattern will continue into January

Paul Dorian


Our active weather pattern continues and it looks like two storms will affect the Mid-Atlantic region by the middle of the week, and then a third storm is likely next weekend. That third storm could usher in the coldest air yet this season affecting much of the central and eastern US. In fact, there are signs that the first 5 days of 2013 may be the coldest start to a new year in places like the Midwestern US since the historically cold winter of 1976-1977.

The first storm will be weaker than the second, but certainly not inconsequential, and its timing is just perfect for producing a white Christmas for those in the Mid-Atlantic region from near the PA/MD border region northeast to the NYC metro region, and perhaps as far south as northern Virginia and northern Maryland. This storm will spread light precipitation into the Mid-Atlantic from later Monday into very early Tuesday (Christmas Day) as it moves eastward from the Ohio Valley to the Mid-Atlantic coast. This looks like the type of system that could produce a coating to a couple of inches of snow in the Philly and NYC metro regions, and perhaps even as far south as the northern suburbs of the District. This first storm pulls out quickly by Tuesday morning and attention will then shift to the Deep South for a potential big one.

The second storm will be considerably stronger and more moisture-laden than the first and could end up being a major snowstorm for much of the interior Northeast US. This storm will likely head from the Deep South on late Tuesday to the Tennessee Valley by early Wednesday. From this location, energy will start transferring to the Mid-Atlantic coastline and precipitation will likely spread into the Mid-Atlantic region during early Wednesday. Heavy snow is likely from this storm in inland locations with rain likely near the coast. The big cities along the I-95 corridor will likely be in a precipitation battle zone area during the storm between ice, snow and rain although snow accumulations are certainly possible in the northern and western suburbs. Stay tuned.