By MARK HANOK
After arctic cold and series of snowstorms during the past week, we’ll get into a much milder weather pattern, as the storm track shifts to the west and the very cold air stays from the northern Rockies to the northern Great Plains.
On Christmas Day a storm system will lift north of Lake Ontario and a westerly flow will take over, with variable cloudiness, some sunshine, winds gusting to over 30 mph, and a few lake-effect snow showers; highs from 35 to 40 degrees. Skies will be partly sunny with seasonably cold air on Friday; highs in the mid- 30’s; most of the lake-effect snow will stay in western New York.
On Saturday another low will track to our west and bring a mild southwesterly flow; in fact highs will be in the upper 40’s with occasional rain showers.
The mild air will continue on Sunday with a few rain showers in the morning, then some partial sunshine during the afternoon and highs in the low 40’s.
A cold front will only bring a return to seasonably cold air on Monday, with intervals of clouds and sunshine, the chance of a few snow showers and highs from 35 to 40 degrees. Temperatures will stay at or above normal through at least New Year’s Eve before a colder weather pattern returns to begin the new year.
The first day of winter was very wintry across much of the nation, with arctic high pressure from western Canada to the southern Great Plains on Sunday.
The Alberta clipper tracked quickly eastward to Lake Huron while a secondary low took shape to the east of the Virginia coast.
Snow continued all morning in Otsego County, with a 3” to 6” accumulation. As the western storm moved to Lake Ontario during the afternoon, snow tapered off to snow showers and drier air pushed eastward on the westerly flow to the south of the low.
Mark Hanok is an Otegobased meteorologist. You can visit him on the World Wide Web at http://members. aol.com/weathergazette.