Quiet End to 2011, But Arctic Air Awaits for 2012

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Updated: 12/29/2011 9:01 pm
Thursday, December 29, 2011: Quiet End to 2011 Before Arctic Air Arrives

Good Thursday evening, everybody.  I hope you've had a FANTASTIC start to your holidays, and that the party is still getting started as we approach the start to 2012.

In the big picture, 2011, which has become our wettest year in the record books (!!!) will end fairly quiet.  The only exception to the quiet weather, in the final 48 hours of the year, will be some scattered, light rain showers on Friday.  Around midday, a cold front will arrive from the west, and some scattered showers will slide east across the area.  Rainfall amounts will be very light, and not every square mile is guaranteed rain.  Here's the latest GFS forecast, indicating less than 0.10" with the final batch of wet weather in 2011.

Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology

As we close out 2011, the record wettest year will end with a dry New Year's Eve.  Saturday's highs will be around 51°, close to 10° above average.  High pressure will remain to our southeast, and a strong cold front will gather steam across the Northern Plains.  The ball will drop with quiet weather in the Bluegrass, and temperatures will eventually fall to around 38° during the first few hours of 2012.

Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology

New Year's Day will be a time of major transition.  After a relatively mild start to the day with temperatures in the 40s, a much stronger cold front will pack a major punch during the second half of the day.  A more widespread batch of rain showers will mix with and change to snow showers and flurries as temperatures plunge through the 30s and into the 20s.  Flurries will linger into Monday.

Courtesy: Penn State Univ. Dept. of Meteorology

The latest AVN / GFS forecast takes the freezing line at 850 millibars down to Jacksonville, FL.  That's some good, cold air, as the polar vortex wobbles southeast across eastern Canada, toward the eastern Great Lakes.  Tuesday will be our coldest day during this arctic stretch, most likely, with lows in the teens and a high struggling to reach 30°.

After a couple of mild weeks, this will be a jarring change.

Have a great night!


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