What winter? Dry Christmas, rain or snow on Dec. 26?

The forecast models keep coming up warmer than average. Minnesota rides the northern edge of unseasonably mild air mass sprawled out across the nation. More proof of concept for of an El Niño-flavored winter.

Mild temperatures across the U.S. Tuesday afternoon, via Oklahoma Mesonet

Tuesday marks the seventh straight warmer than average day in Minnesota. Temperatures are now running about 4 degrees warmer than average so far for the month of December in the Twin Cities. Temperatures remain above average this week, even as a cool front slides in by Friday.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Weather Bell

Rain after Christmas?

Our inbound cool front spawns a few rain and snow showers across Minnesota Late Wednesday. A second wave brings some light snow Saturday. The latest trends suggest a dry pattern Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The American and Canadian models are latching onto the notion of a powerful low-pressure storm somewhere in the Upper Midwest the day after Christmas. It’s too early for high confidence on storm track and precipitation type. But the early trends suggest it could be warm enough for mostly rain in southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities.

The better chances for heavy snow appear to lie across northern Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Here’s the way too early Canadian model version of events. This far out it comes with the usual warning labels. Buyer beware. Use at your own risk.

Canadian GEM model Dec. 26-27, via tropical tidbits

Stay tuned.

Monitoring climate change on the farm

Ask your local farmer if they’re seeing more extreme weather patterns as climate changes. Here’s an interesting piece form Fast Company.