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Christmas remains two weeks away, but we can now begin to get the faintest glimpses of what weather it may hold for us. That’s because in the range of 10-14 days weather models can just begin to discern patterns in the fog of weather’s chaotic nature.

And what the models are seeing is a significant cold spell, says Fred Schmude, a forecaster with Houston-based ImpactWeather. Fred gave me the following summary of what might be coming:

We are looking at another significant pattern change later in the month which may bring down a surge of much colder air near or right before Christmas, centered on the 21st to the 26th of the month. Confidence in the timing and intensity of the colder air this far out is still on the low side; however, some of the longer range signals we follow here at ImpactWeather our leaning toward the possibility of the much colder weather.

Already there are several weather conditions already in place which may allow for this scenario to unfold, including: a deep snow cover well southward over the U.S. High Plains resulting in less modification of any air that builds southward out of Canada and well below normal temperatures at the present time over the a large part of western North America.

The only weather condition currently lacking is a driving mechanism to force colder air southward toward the Gulf Coast. Right now we are becoming a little more confident with time this may start to happen late next week, and especially the following week (Christmas Week), as the main storm track is forced southward from Canada due to a building area of high pressure over western North America.

You may ask will there be any moisture around to produce wintry type weather if indeed we do see the much colder air? My answer is it’s a still too early try and predict anything close to that this far out considering we are nearly 10 days away from seeing the potential pattern change. However, the current El Nino has revitalized the southern storm track in big ways this fall, resulting in more moisture and disturbances over southeast Texas … so you never know. We will be monitoring it closely!

As I suggested above, model forecasts after five to seven days are fairly unreliable. And yet that doesn’t stop us from asking the questions, and the early predictions are that we’re setting up for a cold Christmas.

Via: Houston Chronicle