Christmas Eve Long Term Forecast

Time to get a Christmas Eve Forecast ready…
The European Alps are in a snow drought, North America is doing well and Japan is pretty average for this time of year. As usual we look beyond other forecasts, to a less clear period. Let’s get stuck into it.


Over the 1-2 January (New Year!), snow looks likely on EC and GFS, but only for a few hours and they conflict a bit, so wouldn’t expect much from this one.

On the 4-5 January, snow looks likely on EC and GFS with NW winds coming off a high with limited influence from a low. CFS suggests lake effect from the 5th January to the 9th January with a weak low around Hokkaido, moving away.

On the 7th, EC suggests a big low crossing Honshu, bringing rain to the Japanese Alps. The next day, the 8th of January may have good N winds. GFS suggests a weaker low coming across Hokkaido and directing N winds on the 8th. CFS continues to have Northernly winds throughout the period, coming off a big low to the northeast of Japan. All models show an end to the Northernly winds around the 9th.

CFS and EC both suggest weak lows on the 10th, with CFS’s low over Honshu and EC’s north of Hokkaido. These create N-NW winds and lake effect on the 11th, before ending on the 13th of January.

North America-

3rd-5th January suggest a cold node crossing PNW/BC bringing significant snow. This is based on EC and GFS Forecasts.

Then this cold node gets heaps of cold air from the 4th, that makes it massive. GFS says this favours the Mid West (Not East Coast though) and EC says it favours PNW/BC. Regardless this system is spread across the entire Rockies. CFS also sees this massive node favouring PNW/BC. If EC and CFS have their way, this could drive in more moisture from the Pacific. It should move on around the 10th.

On EC and CFS, around the 12th and 13th of January, another low moves in from the North over BC/PNW and then moves south towards Colorado/Utah/Arizona/New Mexico over the 13th and 14th. It picks up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and sits around the area, hopefully dumping snow in Utah and Colorado. It sticks around until the 18th or 19th, according to EC. But CFS moves the low on around the 15th and 16th.

If one thing is to be certain, all the fronts forecast are big. This and a lot of the climatology behind it suggest a big January for North America.


3rd-6th of January looks good on GFS and EPS Control. It involves a moving low from the North on
GFS, but EC is predicting a low both north and south of the Alps, fusing cold air and precipitation right over the Alps. I find this EC prediction a little outlandish, but let’s see what happens…

GFS, CFS and EC call for a low from the North over the 9-11th, pushing snow across most of the
North and Central Alps.

EC suggests a very deep low from the North from the 13th-17th with the 540 line down to Sicily. CFS is the opposite with a low from the Tropics crossing the Pyrenees and Western Alps dumping snow (possibly wet).

Given Europe’s current trend of having big lows in the long term, turn into nothing in reality, I put very low confidence in this, but who knows really.

Given this forecast stretches from 8 days to 25 days out, there is absolutely no chance all these forecasts will occur exactly as the models tell us now. But what we can learn is some dates, some influences and general trends which let’s us know where the snow season is going. As for the accuracy of this, I will let the reader gauge how much confidence they have on this. I personally have some but limited confidence on these forecasts. On that note, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I should get a Teleconnections update in the next few days, otherwise I will be on holidays, but should return with updates from Mid January. Enjoy the weather whatever it may be until then!

-Snowy Hibbo

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