Extremely cold Christmas weekend coming, snow chance remains low

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Saturday, December 17, 2022
Chances for snow accumulation during Christmas still low
Chances for snow accumulation during Christmas still low

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Extremely cold air is going to make its way into North Carolina for the Christmas weekend.

Cold air has been bottled up in Canada, but it will stretch its way across the Great Plains next week and make its way into North Carolina by Friday.

High temperatures Friday and through the weekend could be in the 30s, with lows in the teens.

"This could end up being one of the top 10 coldest Christmases we've ever seen," ABC11 Chief Meteorologist Don "Big Weather" Schwenneker said.

Some weather model runs have even suggested it could snow Christmas weekend. But those models are very limited.

EXPLAINER: Weather models vs weather forecast for this snow event

Big Weather explains how forecasting works for winter storms in North Carolina.

There are still way too many factors that are unknown. Our region historically does not get any snow on Christmas, much less a big snow storm. This is because conditions have to be just right for us to get any winter weather

We need a well established high pressure system to the north and a low pressure system to the south. That can allow the air to be cold enough and yet still have enough moisture to create winter weather.

Right now, we know it will be cold enough, but don't know if there will be enough moisture in the air and the position low pressure system.

The First Alert Weather team expects to have a better idea about the Christmas weekend forecast by the beginning of next week.