Thursday 10 a.m.
A band of mostly light and spotty snow has stretched from eastern Virginia to southern New England this morning. The best chance for getting up to a few inches is in southeastern New England, especially Cape Cod. Lake-effect snow continues south of Buffalo and northeast of Syracuse. The wind will become more northwesterly across New York state tonight, and that favors snow south of Buffalo and right into Syracuse.
The cold will ease in the Middle Atlantic region as we go into the weekend, but gusty winds will erase the impact of any higher temperatures in New England.
The next storm looks like it will take the southern route across the Plains and into the Middle Atlantic states. If it reaches the D.C. to NYC corridor, I think snow is more likely than rain and greatest accumulation would occur if most of the precipitation comes on Sunday night. Here is today's video:
Last year at this time, temperatures were reaching the 70s and 80s from Chicago to Boston. Now it is 40-50 degrees colder and some areas are having snow.
This is how it looked from my front yard in central Pennsylvania with the last snowfall.
This map shows the split flow that is predicted to be in place on New Year's Day. Note how the flow reaching northern Pennsylvania originates far north in Canada, whereas to flow aimed at Virginia comes from Mexico.
The maps I searched for were from December 1960. I was 13 and was thoroughly overjoyed when Philadelphia got 14.6 inches on Dec. 11 and 12. Schools were closed for three days, something that did not happen again until the Blizzard of January '96.
At midnight, the temperature will be in the 50s to low 60s from Virginia to Southern New England... more like late spring than Christmas time. Meanwhile, cold air will be advancing into western parts of Pennsylvania and New York, driven by strong winds. Earlier, this "cold" air mass looked like it would be more potent than it has turned out to be. This map shows the pressure pattern and some temperatures at 9 a.m.
Temperatures are likely to be in the 50s from Boston to Washington, D.C., during the nighttime hours of Christmas Eve. Dry chillier weather will arrive during Christmas Day, with dry weather lasting until at least Saturday.
This picture, which may or may not have been taken very recently, has a red dot near the North Pole. I cannot confirm that a red dot is there on the ground or that it means anything. We will monitor the area for any signs of activity and advise everyone to maintain the spirit of being nice and not naughty.
Rain with areas of fog should spread from Virginia to New Jersey Monday or Monday night then spread into New England for Tuesday. From the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania into the interior of New England this could at least start as snow or ice. The GFS for 1 AM New Year's Day looks interesting. See the map below. Whether or not this storm develops and where it will snow or rain cannot be precisely predicted two weeks in advance using these models.