Upstate New York braces for a winter weather battering. (Credit: NWS-Buffalo)
A blast of cold Canadian air is poised to hammer the Great Lakes area and leave up to 2 feet of lake-effect snow. People in places like Grand Rapids, Mich., Cleveland and Buffalo are in for a rough end to the week, forecasters say.
Thursday morning’s forecast low in Chicago is 2, with 30 mph winds. That should put wind chill values down to around -17. It warms up on Friday, but up to 8 inches of snow is expected over the weekend.
Christmas weekend temperatures could make it into the 40s, however.
Temperatures in South Florida will be running above normal over the next week, according to the National Weather Service, particularly overnight lows. Average temperatures are mid- to upper-70s with lows in the upper 50s.
The forecast for the next few days is for highs in the low 80s and lows in the upper 60s to near 70. But over the weekend and early next week, lows may only sink into the mid-70s as winds swing around to the southeast.
That could mean a few record warm low temperatures. The forecast low Saturday, Sunday and Monday in West Palm Beach is 75 degrees. Records range from 73-75, so a few marks may be set or tied.
THE BING THING: A lot of offices are playing Christmas music this time of the year, mine in particular, which has it on 24/7 — even when nobody’s there, I think. So when you open up in the morning you get hit immediately with the sounds of Tony, Perry and Bing.
And of course The Carpenters.
So even though we’re in South Florida, you always wonder, just briefly, what the odds are of a white Christmas here. I myself enjoy seeing a white Christmas — in photos sent by family and friends from colder climes.
The only actual white Christmas I could find in Florida’s modern history came in 1989, when several inches of snow fell near Jacksonville on Christmas Eve day. Parts of the Florida panhandle got a dusting of snow on Christmas Day 2004.
I was living in Boca Raton in 1989 and the previous night I set a dish of water out on my back deck. And yes, it had a thin layer of ice on it the next morning. Snow flurries were reported in the Everglades. My friend’s car wouldn’t start.
What are the chances of a white Christmas in Miami? Well, they’re not zero, since the city did get a dusting of snow during the famous cold snap of January 1977. In 2012, Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters put odds at between one in 20,000 and one in 40,000.
The National Weather Service only issues seven-day forecasts and so their Christmas weekend predictions aren’t out yet. But Weather Underground is forecasting temperatures in the low- to mid-80s in the days leading up to Christmas weekend, although it looks like a front may go through on Christmas Eve day.
AccuWeather says that front could drive South Florida temperatures all the way down to 60 on Christmas morning, although daytime temperatures may rebound into the upper 70s.
So the closest you may get to a white Christmas this year is the shaved ice in your holiday margarita.