‘Bitterly cold’ weather expected around Christmas weekend

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

No matter whether it will be a white Christmas this year, the National Weather Service is confident that it will be a “bitterly cold” one.

During the period from Dec. 23-29, the NWS said that very cold Arctic air masses will cover much of the nation. The lowest temperatures will be in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, but in the Ohio Valley, the NWS said these air masses will likely bring temperatures in the teens and single digits.

One model predicts Christmas Eve in Dayton will see a high temperature of 13 degrees and a low of 2, with Christmas Day being only a few degrees warmer.

On Christmas Day, normal average highs in the area are in the upper 30s, while average lows fall into the mid-20s.

The past two years have been “polar” opposites in Dayton, from a shivering Christmas 2020, when the temperature never rose above 18, to a balmy 2021, when 61-degree high temperatures led to driveway family basketball games in shorts.

The National Weather Service said cold air outbreaks this year could possibly bring a winter storm for areas of the eastern Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast leading up to and including Christmas Eve.

NWS said a white Christmas — defined as having an inch or more of snow on the ground on Christmas morning — is uncommon in southwest Ohio. Using Cincinnati snow depth measurements that go back to 1916, NWS said the area has experienced a white Christmas only 16 times (or about 16 percent of the time).