Forecasting the coming winter chill: How cold will we get this December?

December 2, 2016 0 Comments

Coming off an incredibly mild November (the average temperature was 42.8 degrees, 9 degrees above normal), you might be wondering if December will be similar. Well, that probably won’t be the case.

Forecasted highs from 12/2 to 12/9

Forecasted highs from 12/2 to 12/9

The good news is we should be pretty mild to start the month. The average high temperature for the first week of December is 31 degrees, and we’ll likely be warmer than that through December 6th. The bad news is a big pattern shift is projected to take hold by December 7th, and that will greatly drop our temperatures heading into the second week of December.

Image courtesy of Climate Prediction Center

Image courtesy of Climate Prediction Center

According to the Climate Prediction Center, there is a strong possibility of below normal temperatures between December 9th and 15th, when the normal high is in the upper 20s and the normal low is in the low to mid teens.

Now, will we see some above normal temperatures later in the month to balance out this cold stretch?

Image courtesy of Climate Prediction Center

Image courtesy of Climate Prediction Center

The Climate Prediction Center gives southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa an equal chance at above and below normal temperatures for the entire month of December.┬áSo we don’t know for sure how cold it will be past the second week of December, but it would be a good idea to keep the heavy winter coats ready just in case.

TL;DR: We’ll see a milder than normal start to December, then a colder than normal second week of the month. Past that point, we can’t reliably forecast how cold it will get, but there is an equal chance of above or below normal temperatures.

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