A more active weather pattern will develop across the United States during peak Christmas travel days; December 22nd through 24th.
Bitterly cold air builds across northwestern Canada early next week. The jet stream is then forecast to re-align in a way that allows cold air to spill southward; into the United States next Wednesday or Thursday.
Temperatures may be dropping quickly across the southern plains as early as next Thursday night or Friday.
At the same time, an area of low pressure is forecast to linger across the southern and southwestern United States by some forecast models; producing wintry precipitation across the south-central United States.
Rain will change to wintry precipitation as colder air filters southward.
This particular weather setup can produce significant cold and ice across the central and south-central portions of the United States.
However, the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry we may stay on the warm side of the storm system through Christmas Day as the cold air-mass battles an expanding area of high pressure across the southeastern United States.
It is entirely possible that while portions of Texas, Oklahoma, etc. receive cold temperatures and wintry weather, while we're experiencing sunshine and temperatures well-above average. If you have travel plans to an area west of the Mississippi River around Christmas, keep a close eye on forecast developments.
If wintry weather occurs across portions of the southern plains, airport delays may still impact a broader area.
The biggest question that remains to be answered - How quickly does cold air translate eastward, across the country?
At this point, I would expect a stronger cold front to sweep through Georgia and South Carolina at some point Christmas week. Chilly temperatures would return as soon as the cold front sweeps through.
However, we may not feel below average temperatures until after the Christmas holiday.
Of course, this is guaranteed to undergo alterations. We'll keep you updated over the next several days as confidence in a specific forecast for our area increases.
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