White Christmas: All signs point to cold, snowy holiday week in northern Ohio

CLEVELAND - When last we talked holiday weather, Thanksgiving was a week away. I predicted a blast of cold air on or near turkey day.

The cold front arrived Friday afternoon and brought a chill to Black Friday shoppers. It also provided a little snow to many of you for Saturday.

Now, we'll start looking ahead at your Christmas week forecast. Keeping in mind that, like Thanksgiving one week out, the finer details could change. Still, there is a certain amount of confidence in the overall pattern that will set up for the middle and end of December. And I can describe it in a word: cold.

All computer forecasts a pointing to a big cool down arriving by the middle of the month. High pressure will establish itself out west, allowing for a big upper-level low pressure center to stall near the East Coast. This pattern would favor cold, arctic air spilling southward across the Great Lakes.

The picture I included with this article shows the temperature forecast for early Friday, Dec. 21. Notice how much of the country is covered in the cool blue colors? That's a big blast of arctic air.

This cold will likely hang around for the holidays. While it will certainly be cold enough for snow in time for Christmas and Hanukah, the amount of snow is still in question. This predicted cold air set-up would certainly favor a good Lake Effect snow event or two between Dec. 15 and 23.

There are also indications that a few storm systems will cross the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, contributing to the snow threat.

Again, the finer details are days away from being worked out. But, the bottom line is: Your odds of a white Christmas are increasing. I hope you asked Santa for warm coat and a snow shovel. Stay tuned. I'll have updates in the coming days.

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