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    Northeast Belated Christmas Gift from Old Man Winter

    December 23, 2011; 12:59 PM ET
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    Image courtesy of Photos.com

    With the wished-for Christmas storm by some folks escaping out to sea, the Great Lakes and Northeast will be awarded a belated present in the form of cold, gusty winds and snow showers.

    A vigorous upper-level disturbance will race across the Great Lakes and will sweep through the Northeast this Christmas weekend.

    The feature is packing flurries, heavier snow showers and cold, gusty winds.

    No Snowstorm, but...

    While in a typical December this may not be saying much, but it is possible that the snow showers are briefly heavy enough to bring a quick coating of snow to some locations from the shores of the Great Lakes to perhaps some of the Atlantic beach-front areas in the Northeast.

    Odds of getting a small accumulation of snow are small to begin with, but are highest from the Great Lakes to the central and northern Appalachians, when compared to the I-95 corridor.

    It is certainly possible the swath from Minneapolis to Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo may sneak in with a dusting or light coating of snow just yet. A few snowflakes could even drift through Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

    The disturbance will swing across the Great Lakes during Christmas day and then on to the coastal Northeast later Christmas night into Monday morning.

    The feature and its brief cold slap are part of a double shot of cold air for the region. Seasonably cold air was overtaking the Northeast in the wake of Thursday night's storm.


    Since this new disturbance is rather strong, and will allow winds to align at the surface and aloft, a period of gusty west to northwest wind will accompany its passage.

    The strongest winds would be during the day Sunday around the Great Lakes and then Sunday night into Monday morning in the Northeast.

    In this case the normally powerful winds from high in the atmosphere are able to make their way down to the surface in the form of strong gusts, due to lesser frictional effects.

    Its conceivable winds get strong enough to juggle tree limbs and power lines, potentially leading to sporadic power outages and downed branches. Christmas decorations, such as those giant blow-up characters and light-weight trash bags filled with used wrapping paper could go for a ride.

    The system will be exiting the coastal Northeast on Monday morning. Gusty cross winds at area airports to start the day could lead to minor flight delays.

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