Major Winter Storm Coming on Thursday!

Monday Night Forecast Update

Monday Night Forecast Update for December 19th:

We have a couple days to prepare but the coldest Christmas weather since the 1980s looks to be heading our way. Temperatures will drop around 50° from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning (from 50° to 3°). There is also a round of rain, which will briefly turn to a wintry mix, then snow coming on Thursday as well. This is a very challenging forecast for snow as temperatures will be dropping so quickly. Trying to figure out how much will be rain and how much will be snow is going to be quite difficult. We will take an early first look at potential snow amounts and a more details on in the incoming cold event, coming up here.

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We are expecting a normal December West Tennessee night tonight with lows falling down to around 30°. Some clouds will move in overnight and the winds are expected to be calm for the most part.


Another normal winter day is forecast for Tuesday. We will see partly to mostly cloudy skies at times and the temperatures should make it up into the upper 40s. The winds will be light and come out of the northeast. We will remain dry during the day. Tuesday night lows will again fall down to around 30°.


Wednesday will be a few degrees warmer than Tuesday but highs again will struggle to hit the 50° mark. The winds will shift slowly to more out of the east on the back side of a large area of high pressure. We will see some clouds lingering around into the afternoon and increasing clouds late. Wednesday night lows will be a bit warmer due to the increase in clouds as well as a late shift in the winds back to the southwest. It could become breezy overnight as well.


An historic storm system looks to be targeting West Tennessee on Thursday. Highs will reach up to around 50° in the afternoon before falling all the way down to around 3° by sunrise Friday morning. Showers will start in the early afternoon and transition from rain, to a brief wintry mix around sunset. The wintry mix will be brief and snow showers should start sometime between sunset and 10 pm.  The faster the cold moves in will have a direct correlation as to how many inches of snow we pick up. This is a tricky forecast for many reasons.

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We could end up with 3 inches of snow or could get less than an inch. The bigger concern from this system may end up being the cold as the wind chill will be below zero for an extended period of time. The wind chill is forecast to be between -10 and -20° early Friday morning. We have not had a Christmas system this cold since the 1980s (1983/1989).

May be an image of map and text that says 'STORM TEAM WEATHER FORECAST WIND CHILL ON THE WAY FRI 6:00 AM RAIN MIXED Union City Ridgely 19° SNOW Martin -19° Paris -20° Dyersburg 19° Trenton -18° Alamo 17° Camden -18° Ripley -18° Huntingdon -18° Covington Jackson Brownsville -17 Lexington -16° Parsons -16° Memphis Memp Henderson -17° Somerville ・16° Bolivar -16° Selmer 14° Savannah -15°'


The snow showers are forecast to move out before the sun comes up on Friday and the highest accumulations are forecast closer to Kentucky than near Mississippi due to the fact the temperatures will be colder sooner north of Jackson than south of Jackson. Here is a first look at our potential snow forecast and this will likely change some as we get more forecast model guidance as the system gets closer.

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We may not set any low temperature records from the system as the low records are (-7/1989 on Thursday), (-6/1983 on Friday) and (-10/1983 on Saturday). We do have a shot at the low/max temperature record on Friday (15/1983) as the forecast high is only 14° for Friday. The wind chill will be extreme in the morning with the winds still blustery at 20-25 MPH early in the day on Friday.  The clouds will move out during the morning on Friday and Friday night lows will again be cold falling down to the mid single digits.


The winds will weaken some during the day on Saturday but it is still going to be very cold. The winds will be around 10-15 MPH on Saturday and come out of the west. This will again make it feel as low as -10° early Christmas Eve morning. Highs on Christmas Eve (Saturday) will be around 20° and we will fall down to around 10° for Christmas morning (Sunday). Highs on Sunday will make it back up to the mid 20s and Sunday night low will drop down to the mid teens. We should see mostly sunny skies this weekend but it is still going to be very cold. Please protect the 4 Ps (People, Pipes, Pets and Plants) from this system. This is a life threatening system if you get caught or stuck outside for an extended period of time, please be safe and bring the pets in.

May be an image of snow and text that says 'WINTER WEATHER TIPS FROSTBITE Even skin that is protected can be subject to frostbite. It's the most common injury yreslting from exposure severe cold, and it usually occurs on fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin. FROZEN PIPES let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe even at trickle helps prevent pipes from freezing. PETS too cold fit's too cold for you, t's probably for your pet, so keep your animals inside.'



All locations have already topped their monthly rain averages during the first two weeks of the month across West Tennessee. We will get a break from the rain late this week but that will usher in another round of cold weather that could be sticking around into the Christmas holiday.  Don’t give up on a white Christmas this year as long term forecast models are still suggesting snow that could linger around through the holiday. You need to stay weather aware to changing weather patterns and monitor the forecasts closely. We got you covered in the WBBJ 7 Storm Team Weather Center as always.

For tips on preparing for the storms, click here. To download the WBBJ 7 Weather app, click here.

Storm Team Chief Meteorologist
Joel Barnes
Facebook: @JoelBarnesWeather
Twitter: @JoelBarnes13
Instagram: @joelbarnes13

Categories: Weather, Weather Blog, Weather Forecast