MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A powerful cold front will bring the coldest Christmas Day temperatures in years to the area.
A very strong cold front will move through the eastern US this week. The front will push through the Carolinas on Christmas Eve and usher in very cold air for Christmas Day.
Ahead of the front, unseasonably warm weather will flow into the area on Christmas Eve. Temperatures will climb into the 60s on Wednesday before climbing into the upper 60s on Christmas Eve. In addition to the warmth, abundant moisture will flow into the area on southerly winds. Rain chances will ramp up with a widespread 80% chance of rain and some of those showers could even be on the heavy side. With the warmth on Christmas Eve, we could even hear a few thunderstorms at times Thursday afternoon and into the evening hours.
In addition to the warm and windy weather, strong winds will be likely, with wind gusts of 30-40 mph possible along the cold front. We’ve seen this with some of the previous cold fronts this year so make sure you secure those outdoor decorations as another strong cold front will come just in time for those Christmas Eve plans.
The timing in the models continues to improve and the confidence is increasing that we should be completely dry by the time you wake up Christmas morning but we will be cold! Lows will drop into the lower 30s on Christmas morning but the wind will make the wind chills in the upper teens to lower 20s. You will want to bundle up if you are headed out on Christmas day!
Highs will struggle to climb throughout Christmas Day with highs only in the lower 40s. Even then, models suggest that the wind chill will make it feel like the upper 30s throughout the day on Christmas. With a forecast of 43°, it would be the coldest Christmas since 2004 here in the Grand Strand.
Despite the cold temperatures, the local forecast does not indicate any snow or ice potential during the Christmas Holiday. However, western portions of North and South Carolina could see rain changing to a brief period of sleet or snow late in the day on Christmas Eve. Regardless, this cold will make it feel like Christmas this year in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee.