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Forecast: Milder weather with a chance for snow

Covering the period from December 16 to December 25, 2019

As is fairly typical when we are in a pattern dominated by arctic high pressure, the timing of the system for last week’s forecast was off by a little bit. We definitely saw high pressure and cold air build in during the first half of last week’s forecast, but the Pacific low came in a little quicker than expected, bringing a shot of snow to most regions late last Thursday and during the day on Friday.

For this forecast period, the weather models are struggling with a possible shift in our weather pattern. At first it was looking like we were going to see a return of frigid arctic air, but lately the models have leaned toward a more westerly flow that should allow for milder temperatures.

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It looks like we will be stuck between a northwesterly and westerly flow for the first part of this forecast period, which will mean sunny to partly cloudy skies along with near-average temperatures for this time of the year. The weather models show a weak area of low pressure sliding in from the northwest late on Wednesday or during the day Thursday, bringing with it a little light snow. Meanwhile, along the B.C. coast, a strong area of low pressure will be moving onshore. The southerly flow ahead of this low will help to push out the cold arctic air, with daytime highs rising into the -8 C range by the weekend.

The Pacific low is forecast to break apart into several weak systems that will spin out across our region over the weekend and into the early part of next week. The nature of these systems makes their exact timing and placement difficult to forecast, but it currently looks like we could see a chance of light snow right around Christmas. Fortunately, with this weather pattern it looks like temperatures will be fairly mild, with daytime highs in the -10 C range and overnight lows around -18 C.

Usual temperature range for this period: Highs, -19 to -3 C; lows, -28 to -12 C.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

Daniel Bezte is a teacher by profession with a BA (Hon.) in geography, specializing in climatology, from the U of W. He operates a computerized weather station near Birds Hill Park.

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