Thursday 10 a.m.
A storm that caused snow in parts of Mississippi and Alabama this morning will move northeast this afternoon, putting Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlantic City, N.J., and New Bedford, Mass., near its northwest edge. This is farther southeast than it appeared would be the case yesterday afternoon... but in a distance of 50 miles with this kind of storm, you might find snow accumulations ranging from a mere dusting to 5 inches.
Meanwhile, cold air is advancing southward through the northeast third of the nation. However, as a strong low pressure areas forms in the upper Great Lakes on Saturday and moves eastward, it will generate a strong southwesterly flow of milder air for a couple of days. Temperatures should be well up in the 40s in Philadelphia and New York City Saturday.
However, very cold will pour southeastward from central Canada after this. On Monday, temperatures may have trouble topping 10 in Chicago, and it could stay below freezing all day in Philly, New York City and Boston. The video shows more.
This map shows the GFS-predicted precipitation from 1 until 7 p.m. EST today (Thursday). Note in northern Virginia how close the no precipitation zone is to the blue area that could have up to an inch of water.
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.