A strong punch of arctic air from a displacement of the polar vortex could bring our coldest air of the season late next week. Right now mid-to-long range models are indicating Christmas eve into Christmas day would be the coldest next week.
Right now there's some uncertainty as to the duration of this cold air, and how far the coldest stuff gets south. However, we're gaining confidence that we'll at the very least have below average temperatures for the holiday.
We're also uncertain if this cold will interact with any moisture. At this time, we're leaning more towards a dry cold, than a snowy one.
This will be a complete and total 180 degree shift from what we experienced last Christmas. You may remember having to bust out the sunglasses. Highs rose to near 70, with Columbia Regional Airport tying its record for 2nd warmest Christmas ever recorded.
Our warmest Christmas is a dated one... You have to go back to 1889 when we scorched all the way up to 74 degrees. 37 years ago, we managed some of our coldest air ever recorded... not just Christmas. A high of 6, and a dangerously cold -19 that Christmas morning.
Our snowiest Christmas came 4 years following that in 1987-- where 3.4" fell.
Are you wishing for a white Christmas? (Vote below!)
White Christmas odds in mid-Missouri are fairly low. On average they occur once every 6 or 7 years. An official white Christmas is categorized as an inch of snow on the ground on Christmas morning, whether or not snow is falling out of the sky.
Our last white Christmas at Columbia Regional Airport fell on Christmas Eve of 2017.