If you're a fan of temperatures getting above freezing and plenty of dry time, the upcoming two weeks will be right up your alley! The string of milder temperatures has kicked off today with highs in the lower 40s across Michiana. The difference this time, though, is the 40s will hang around for longer than just 1-2 days. Monday and Tuesday will be a little cooler in the middle and upper 30s, but even those days will still technically be above normal.
Probability of above normal temperatures from December 17-21.Climate Prediction Center
The milder temperatures are likely going to hang around through the weekend immediately before Christmas. It's not just us seeing the milder weather either. Nearly the entirety of the Lower 48 will see above-normal temperatures thru roughly Christmastime.
Probability of above normal temperatures from December 19-25.Climate Prediction Center
And the likelihood of the milder temps is quite high. In fact, Michiana's probability of above normal temperatures from December 17-21 is above 70%. For the period of December 19-25, the chances are still high at 55%. Big changes loom around the 23rd, but until then, enjoy the milder weather.
By the time all is said and done, South Bend has a great chance at stringing together 11 consecutive days above average. That's something we haven't seen since mid-September! In addition, the pattern will favor relatively quiet and dry weather for the area.
Four of our long-range forecast models spit out an average of about a half-inch of rainfall all the way through December 23rd! That would certainly be deemed a drier-than-average stretch with only a couple of chances of rain. That's also important. Snow chances through the 23rd are pretty much zero as it looks now thanks to the milder temperatures.
Pattern changing to cold by December 22-23.
Now, let's get back to the "big" changes expected just before the Christmas holiday. Forecast models have continued to advertise a swing back to below normal temperatures around the 22nd or 23rd. A cold front will likely move across the Midwest and Great Lakes around that time, opening the door for cold air from Canada. It's not a guarantee, but the likelihood of colder weather and chances for snow increases markedly just before Santa Claus arrives!