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New England Weather Through Christmas: (mostly) Ideal

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

High pressure will continue to dominate New England's weather over the next several days, bringing dry and generally bright weather while allowing rivers to continue to recede. All flooded rivers in New England have crested and are now beginning to drop.


Current river gauges in flood stage as of Wednesday morning. All rivers are now receding:


New England will be returning back to more December-like temperatures for the rest of the week. This comes as a more northerly flow takes over. A very strong area of high pressure (with a 1,045mb central pressure) will be situated to New England's north in Quebec. This will help provide the quiet weather and chillier temperatures.



A reinforcing cold front will also drop through New England overnight Thursday to Friday morning. This front is rather weak and will not produce precipitation outside of flurries on mountaintops. Highs Thursday and Friday will be in the 20s to low 30s in northern New England and the 30s in southern New England. Morning lows both days will be in the teens and 20s across New England.


As the colder weather returns and extensive power outages remain across Maine, warming shelters have opened across the state. You can see a list of where to go to get warm, as well as charge devices, here. As of 9am, about 288,500 remain without power across New England, including just over 262,000 in Maine.



Thursday will also see an uptick in wind gusts. This comes as New England will be sandwiched between strong high pressure to the north and low pressure to the southeast. Gusts of 20-35mph will be likely across New England, with the strongest across eastern Maine and Cape Cod. This wind will make feels-like temperatures in the teens and 20s across New England during the day Thursday. Unfortunately, these winds may hinder power restoration efforts.




Winds will become lighter on Friday as the high pressure system passes through New England. Skies will remain mostly sunny. A northerly flow will continue, which will keep highs very similar to Thursday, though it will feel more mild with the lighter wind.


Heading into the holiday weekend, high pressure remains in control. The high will shift offshore, which will allow the flow to switch back to more southerly. This will boost temperatures into the 40s for most Saturday and Sunday, with northern Maine holding onto the 30s.



The only wrinkle in this dry stretch of weather is a weak disturbance approaching from the west Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning. This disturbance is very weak and doesn't have much moisture to work with, so any rain or snow showers it produces would be very light and scattered around. Most areas likely won't see any precipitation, just an increase in clouds.


Christmas day will be dry and very quiet. Skies will be partly cloudy and temperatures will likely be running in the 40s with some spots of southern New England making a run toward 50°. A storm system will likely be trekking across the country on Christmas day. This system will likely arrive in New England by midweek. Early signals are showing another mild system, but being a week out, we'll need to watch the trends and timing before making any kind of forecast.


Weather map for Christmas day, showing high pressure over New England and a storm system moving eastward:


As for a white Christmas, this week's storm stole much of northern New England's snowpack amid record high temperatures and pounding rain. With high pressure dominating through Christmas, it's not in the cards this year.


New England snow cover on December 17th (1st image) and December 19th (2nd image):




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