Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? How about a wet one? California would love to have a dry Christmas with all the rain being dumped on the state in the last week.
If you are traveling on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, weather will be a factor on the roads and in the air. Fortunately, most people will have decent weather for Christmas. However, weather delays, busy roads, rain, and snow will impact people all over the country.
West coast – For California, things will dry out for a day at least which is a welcome reprieve from all of the rain. In Los Angeles, highs will be around 60 with partly cloudy skies. Sacramento will enjoy temperatures in the mid 50s will partly cloudy skies. For the Pacific Northwest, there will be some rain, some snow, and some dry areas before we head into the holiday weekend. Portland will have temperatures in the upper 40s with rain while Seattle will enjoy much of the same. Parts of eastern Washington and Oregon will be dry with rain and snow in some areas and temperatures in the 30s and 40s.
The storm systems from California are moving east and the mountain region will see lots of snow and rain. There will be plenty of snow and a winter mix in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Arizona and New Mexico can expect lots of rain from the storm system that dumped rain on southern California. Most of these areas will have temperatures in the 30s and 40s.
Midwest – Most of the midwest will be dry with snow in the Dakotas, Iowa, and Nebraska. Temperatures in those areas will be in the 20s and low 30s. Minnesota will get a break from the snow with cloudy and cold temperatures in the 20s. The rest of the midwest should be cold and dry with temperatures in the low 30s around Chicago, mid to upper 30s in St Louis, and low 3s in Ohio and Indiana. Texas will have some rain but temperatures should be comfortable in the mid 50s.
Northeast – Snow will blanket parts of western New York and Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Temperatures will range in the 20s in western New York, Maine, and Vermont with mid 30s everywhere else. Be wary of high winds in northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Pennsylvania with winds ranging from 20 mph to 30 mph.
Southeast – The south will be cooling off a little but the weather will be dry. Temperatures will range from the mid 40s to low 50s from Louisiana to Virginia. Weather in Florida will be really nice with sunshine and temperatures in the mid 50s in upper Florida to mid 70s in Miami.
West Coast – Rain and snow will be found on the coasts of Washington and Oregon while the rest of the west remains cold and dry. Nearly all of California will be dry with temperatures in the mid 60s in San Diego and Los Angeles, low 60s in San Francisco, and upper 50s in Sacramento. Southern California will be sunny while northern California will see some clouds. Seattle will have rain and temperatures in the 50s, Portland will have rain with temperatures in the upper 40s, and Spokane will be cloud in the upper 30s.
From Montana to New Mexico, most of the mountain region will be dry and cold with temperatures in low 30s in Montana to upper 30s in Salt Lake City and mid 40s in Denver to highs near 70 in Phoenix. Nearly the entire area will be sunny or partly cloudy with some snow in parts of Colorado and New Mexico.
Midwest – The storms from the west coast now move to the midwest as Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and parts of Minnesota, South Dakota, Indiana, and Kentucky will see now. Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas will face heavy rains. For most of the midwest from Chicago to Omaha to St Louis to Minneapolis, temperatures will be in the 20s to mid 30s with snow. Texas will have warm thundershowers and storms in the 60s and 70s while Arkansas will be in the mid to upper 40s.
Northeast – Most of the northeast will dry out a little bit will small pockets of snow in western New York and Pennsylvania. The entire area will be clear with temperatures ranging from the upper 20s in Buffalo and upper 30s in New York City to mid 30s in Boston to mid 30s in Maine. The region will be full of sunshine and clear for travelers on Christmas Eve.
Southeast – The south will also enjoy sunshine and clear weather through the entire region. Temperatures in the upper 30s in Washington DC and Baltimore, mid 40s in Raleigh and Nashville, upper 40s in Charlotte, low 50s in Columbia (SC) and Atlanta, and mid 50s and lower 60s in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Florida will be very nice with sunshine and temperatures ranging from upper 50s to mid 70s.
West coast – Most of the west coast will dry again with rain and some snow along the central/northern California, Oregon, and Washington coasts. Temperatures in southern California will be in the mid 60s with partly cloudy skies. San Francisco may see some rain with temperatures in the upper 50s while Sacramento may see some of the same with temperatures in the mid 50s. The weather for the Pacific Northwest will be similar to Christmas Eve with temperatures in the mid 40s to mid 50s in Portland and Seattle and rain. Eastern Oregon and Washington will be partly cloud with temperatures in the 40s.
The mountain region will again be clear from Montana to Arizona and all the way into the plains. Temperatures will range from the mid 30s in Montana to mid 40s in Salt Lake City and low 50s in Denver to 60s and 70s for most of Arizona with partly cloudy to sunny skies.
Midwest – Much of the midwest will be clear, comfortable, and cool but there are some dangerous areas for Christmas Day. From the Dakotas and Minnesota to Texas and Arkansas it will be clear. Upper teens to mid 20s in Minnesota and the Dakotas, 20s and 30s from Nebraska to Oklahoma, and most of Texas will be in the 50s and 60s with a little wind in some areas. Illinois and Wisconsin will see temperatures in the 20s with some light snow. Indiana, Ohio, and the mid Atlantic states will see lots of snow with temperatures in the upper 20s. Be careful traveling in this area during Christmas.
Northeast – The northeast will again enjoy another nice day on Christmas Day. There will be some snow in Maryland and Pennsylvania with temperatures in the 20s and 30s. New York and New England will be nice and cool with clouds and temperatures in the lows 30s in New York City. From Boston to Maine, enjoy partly cloudy to sunny skies with temperatures in the upper 20s and low 30s.
Southeast – Along with parts of the midwest, the south will be the most dangerous place to travel. With snow in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and parts of North Carolina, driving could be dangerous for inexperienced drivers. Temperatures will be in the upper 20s to low 30s from Tennessee to Washington DC and Maryland. For these areas, it looks like a white Christmas. Parts of northern Alabama and Georgina, including Atlanta, could see some snow flurries.
The rest of the South will be dangerous as well with some rains and thundershowers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and parts of Florida. The heaviest rains will be along the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina into southern Georgia and northern Florida. Temperatures will be in the low 40s to upper 40s throughout these areas in the South while Florida will have periods of rain, clouds, and sun with temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
When traveling for Christmas, be careful on the roads. The winter forecast for 2011 predicts more cold, snow, and rain for many areas of the country. For Christmas, some parts of the country are getting a much needed reprieve. Before you travel, check out 10 last minute holiday travel tips to stay safe. And it’s never too early to plan ahead for a vacation in 2011!
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and stay safe this weekend if you are traveling!
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