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2012 looks to go out with a bang

I'm sure that most weather fanatics like myself have been watching the computer model forecasts closely this month trying to decipher the pattern and figure out whether the storied white Christmas will greet us on the morning of the 25th. I've watched the forecast go from snow to sunshine and now to rain. To say it's been a headache trying to nail down this forecast is an understatement. But with only days to go until Christmas, I'm fairly sure I know what to expect the morning Santa visits, at least from a weather standpoint.

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There are many weather models, but the two biggest players in the game are the ECMWF, also known as the "Euro" model and the GFS which is an American model. The debate rages on as to which model is more accurate most of the time, but any good forecaster will use both models as well as the other models available and then average them before finally adding a dose of knowlege and experience to pick out the known biases of each model to come up with a prediction. Having said all that, here is what we are seeing right now: Both major models are predicting a wet Christmas.

The Euro model brings a low out of the Rocky Mountains this weekend and into the plains by Christmas Eve with rain and thunderstorms on the east side of the low, and heavy snow on the backside. This low is then shown moving parallel to, but on the north side of, the Ohio River on Christmas. The result would be rain and thunderstorms overspreading Kentucky on Christmas, ending on the day after Christmas as snow flurries.

The GFS model develops a low in Texas which pumps moisture off the Gulf and keeps us cold and dry on Christmas Eve. It then lifts the low almost due northward up the Mississippi River on Christmas and stalls the low in the Great Lakes the day after Christmas. Despite the totally different path of the storm predicted by this model, the result in our weather here would be the same. Rain and storms on Christmas would be the rule, with snow flurries as the storm departs on the 26th.

To me, my choice would be snow and lots of it. If I couldn't have that I'd take sunshine and cold. Looks like I'm totally losing out this year with clouds, rain, and lukewarm air. This will be "icky" weather all the way around for our favorite holiday of the year. Hey, don't kill the messenger.

The good news for winter lovers is that around the beginning of the new year, there is still a very good chance that mother nature's fury could be unleashed into the Ohio Valley with severe cold and snow being common going into January. Hang on ... winter has a long way to go.

Take care and enjoy the holidays.

-Shawn