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NWS: Winter Temperatures May Be ‘A Roller Coaster Ride’

201221_winter_outlook.jpg
Seth Wenig
/
AP

Central Illinois residents should expect fluctuating temperatures over the next few months, but maybe not as much snow as usual.

Winter officially started Monday, with plenty of sunshine and a high around 50 degrees. According to Chris Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, the outlook for the season anticipates “a roller coaster ride” of temperature swings.

“We call it a progressive weather pattern, where it’s going to be warmer followed by sharply colder and then back to warmer, and that type of thing,” said Miller. “So, we’re really not expecting a very prolonged cold winter nor a prolonged warm winter.”

Miller said those temperature swings likely will result in less rain and snow.

“Typically when we’re in this type of weather pattern, when the winter is all said and done, we usually see a little bit more toward less precipitation in the area, including snowfall,” he said. “We don’t often see record snowfall amounts or high amount of snow for the winter as a whole when we’re in this type of weather pattern. That’s typically pushed off to our east, more in the Great Lakes and in the upper Ohio Valley.”

Miller said there could be some snow later this week, likely late Wednesday into Thursday – but people hoping for a “White Christmas” may not get their wish.

“We’re still watching that system, but it looks like anything we do get snowfall-wise is going to be pretty light, meaning amounts maybe around a half-inch,” he said, noting even that much could create hazardous travel conditions.

Miller said that although Christmas probably won’t have snow, it will definitely feel like winter with a high temperature near 30 degrees, a low around 10 and wind chills dipping below zero.

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Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.