White Christmas? Winter Solstice Arrives Along with Warmer Weather

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December 21 is the first official day of winter, but as the solstice arrives, most of the lower 48 are in store for warmer weather, lessening the likelihood of a White Christmas for much of the country, and more weather news.

NWS weather alerts

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued Tuesday’s weather alerts.

Winter storm warning: northern and eastern California; southwest Oregon; western Nevada; north Michigan.

Winter weather advisory: southwest Oregon; northern California; central Montana; northeast Minnesota; northern and east-central Wisconsin; northern Michigan; Boston, Massachusetts, and surrounding areas; southern New Hampshire; south Maine.

Winter storm watch: northwest and eastern Washington; northwest Oregon; northern Idaho; western Wyoming; northern Maine.

Tornado watch: west-central Florida.

Most of lower 48 will see a warm Christmas

The likelihood of experiencing a White Christmas is dwindling for most of the lower 48, as a temperature spike arrives on Christmas Eve, continuing into Christmas Day. In fact, it’s going to feel more like Easter weather, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), the Washington Post reported.

The warm-up marks the fourth heatwave for the month of December.

According to the NWS forecast, the warmth will stretch from the central US into a broad swath of the east.

Christmas Eve temperature forecasts

Much of Texas will see temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s, as will much of Oklahoma. Temps in the high 70s for Louisiana, mid-70s for Mississippi and Arkansas, and high 60s to low 70s for Kansas, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Denver can expect highs around 62 on Christmas Eve.

The warmth will stretch into the first three days of the new year, affecting the southern tier from New Mexico to the southeastern coast, extending as far north as Kansas to the west and Virginia to the East. Above-average temperatures are expected in this region, with more southern latitudes to see significantly above average highs.

Severe weather possible

Meteorologists are warning that a seasonal clash of the warm and cold areas could bring a batch of strong to severe thunderstorms as we round out the month, but forecasts are not clear exactly where these could occur yet. Forecasters point to severe storms earlier this month as a sign not to let your guard down.

Winter solstice: the shortest day of the year arrives

Arriving at 10:50 AM a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, when the sun takes its lowest and shortest past through the sky, giving the northern hemisphere its shortest period of daylight, the Washington Post reports.

According to space.com, there will be 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight on the winter solstice, according to space.com.

Following the solstice, the daylight will begin increasing until reaching equal hours of day and night at the spring equinox, which occurs on Sunday, March 20, 2022.