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Cold Christmas temperatures carry into Saturday, freeze expected

3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago Thursday, December 24 2020 Dec 24, 2020 December 24, 2020 11:00 PM December 24, 2020 in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather

Watch WBRZ News 2 at 10:00 Christmas  night for the latest forecast.  The news streams live here.

Going back to 2015, Christmas Day highs have been 83, 79, 53, 74, 69. The last time highs did not reach 50 degrees was 2009, though that is possible this year!

The Next 24 Hours: While skies will be clear and the weather will be quiet, tonight’s low temperature forecast is a little bit tricky. It depends on the winds. If they weaken to below 5mph, lows will likely dip below freezing. However, if the breeze remains elevated, lows could stop just above 32. Either way, it will feel cold and any light wind will cause the feels-like temperature to be in the upper 20s around daybreak. Christmas Day will feature ample sunshine pushing thermometers toward 50 degrees. Northwest breezes of 5-10mph will keep wind chills in the 40s for the afternoon.    

After That: With more confidence in lighter winds, clear skies will lead to colder temperatures on Saturday morning. Actually, some locations north of I-12 could spend several hours with air temperatures in the upper 20s. Fortunately, wind chill will no longer be much of an issue. The first half of the weekend will be sunny and seasonably cool in the upper 50s. The second half of the weekend will introduce a few clouds and a return to the 60s. Gradual warming is expected up to about 70 degrees before the next strong storm system arrives on Wednesday. CLICK HERE to view your complete 7-Day Forecast.  

The Explanation: Clear skies and low dew points typically mean conditions are ideal for a bog slouch in thermometers. However, elevated winds complicate that science tonight. A light freeze is possible for areas along and north of I-10/12, but many areas along and south of I-10/12 could hover just above 32. On the other hand, those winds will cause feels-like temperatures in the upper 20s. Christmas Day will remain quite cold as a surface high continues to build over the area. Highs will only reach the upper 40s and low 50s even with sunny skies. That high will traverse the central Gulf Coast Friday night and with skies expected to remain clear expect an even colder night. Some areas north of I-12 could get close to a hard freeze. The high pressure means fair weather will stay around for Saturday but as it moves east on Sunday winds and the weather will shift. Increasing southeasterly winds will lead to temperature moderation and some more cloud development into early next week. A strong upper level trough of low pressure and accompanying cold front will cut across the area on Wednesday with perhaps another line of rain and thunderstorms. Cooler and drier weather should return on Thursday.

--Josh

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