Cold front for Christmas, but will it be a washout?

Mother Nature is bringing South Florida a cool front for Christmas, a break from the above normal heat that tied a daytime record in Miami this week and has run upwards of 5 degrees above normal in West Palm Beach.

The front, a gush of arctic air let in by a diving jet stream, means winter storm warnings for the northeast with as much as a foot of snow possible in some areas of New England.

But the screaming river of upper-level wind will just skims the Sunshine State, leaving a more feeble front to hobble through South Florida late Sunday and Monday with spats of rain and a Christmas Day high temperature of 77 degrees.

“Right now, we’re calling for a 10 percent chance of rain on Christmas with some showers along the coast and over Atlantic waters,” said Larry Kelly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “It won’t be a complete washout.”

The official forecast for West Palm Beach calls for a partly sunny day with 40 to 60 percent cloud cover.

There is no significant difference in the Christmas prediction from Boca Raton through Jupiter and into the western communities: partly sunny, high 70s, 10 percent chance of rain.

WEATHER LOVERS: Be in the know with our weekly weather newsletters.

Kelly said the timing of the rain will depend on how quickly the front reaches Palm Beach County.

The Weather Prediction Center has it draped just north of Lake Okeechobee at 8 a.m., and an hourly forecast from the NWS has rain chances reaching 10 percent at 9 a.m. and staying at that level into Tuesday when they jump to 20 percent.

This map shows the cold front just north of Lake Okeechobee at 8 a.m. Monday. It is expected to move into the Florida Straits by Tuesday morning.

North winds will pick up behind the front, blowing sustained at 10 to 15 mph. Kelly said that may be enough to issue a small craft advisory for Christmas with seas forecast to pick up to 2 to 3 feet.

But rip currents will be less of a concern with a north wind.

“It’s going to be a little windy but it looks like the front washes out as it comes through the area,” Kelly said.

While a 77-degree high is still two degrees above normal for Dec. 25, it’s lower than the 80-plus temperatures South Florida experienced this week. Miami’s 85-degree high Thursday tied a record for that day set in 1948.

The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting less than 0.30 inches of rain for coastal Palm Beach County between Christmas Day and Thursday.

Two day rain forecast for Dec. 25 – Dec. 27.

The greatest chance of a white Christmas will be across the Midwest, Great Lakes, northern New England and the Rockies,” said AccuWeather lead long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok.

A white Christmas is defined as having an inch or more of snow on the ground on the morning of Dec. 25.

If you haven’t yet, join Kim on Facebook Instagram and Twitter .

Author: Kimberly Miller

Kimberly grew up outside Washington D.C. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995. Her beats have included K-12 education, universities and colleges, real estate, and general assignment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s