December 2023 Forecast: Divisive December Weather | Almanac.com

December 2023 Forecast: Divisive December Weather

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Weather Predictions for the Month of December

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Ready for December weather? While the first of December is only the start of “meteorological winter,” it will feel very chilly out West. However, the Eastern regions will be warmer-than-average. Take a look at our December forecast, including holiday weather!

December 2023 Weather Predictions

December temperatures are set to divide the nation! It will be warmer than normal along the East Coast from New England through the mid-Atlantic states and across Florida and Alaska, about average in the Southeast, and colder than normal elsewhere. Precipitation will be above normal from New England down through the Appalachians to Florida, across the Great Lakes and Ohio and Tennessee valleys, and from Texas across the Desert Southwest into the southern West Coast; it will be near to below normal elsewhere.

Up north, December will be warmer than normal across Atlantic Canada and the northern Northwest Territories and colder than normal elsewhere. Precipitation will average above normal in Atlantic Canada, western Quebec, southern Ontario, and the eastern Prairies. It will be near to below normal across the rest of the country.

→ See YOUR region’s forecast with weekly weather condition summaries.

december weather forecast with snow on a city

December Holiday Weather

On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December 7, we will see mild and rainy weather across Hawaii, while showers will fall over the Appalachians, Southeast, Texas, and Pacific Northwest. Skies will be dry with sunshine across much of the rest of the mainland U.S. 

The winter solstice on the 21st will bring the shortest day and longest night of the year in North America. Sunny skies will be welcome up and down the eastern seaboard, in the Appalachians, across the Deep South, along the West Coast, and over Hawaii. Rain will occur across the Great Lakes and from the Heartland into the Desert Southwest, while snow is expected from the Upper Midwest through the northern Plains. In Canada, rain and/or heavy snow will occur from Atlantic Canada into southern Quebec, while it will be very cold with snow showers across much of the rest of the country.

On Christmas, December 25, rainfall will cause wet roadways and slow travel from the Atlantic Coast into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley and across Florida and the Deep South into Texas. Snow will cause slippery travel in the northern Appalachians and the Heartland. It will be very cold and snowy from the High Plains and Intermountain West into the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, while much of the West Coast will be sunny but chilly. Expect flurries over Alaska and lots of sunshine over Hawaii. Across Canada, expect rain and snow from Atlantic Canada into southern Quebec and very cold with flurries elsewhere.
→ Read our White Christmas Forecast… Will it snow on Christmas?

December 26 is Boxing Day in Canada. Folks there will find it stormy with rain and snow from Atlantic Canada into southern Quebec and bitter cold with flurries from southern Ontario across the Prairies into interior British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. Expect clear and very cold conditions along the Pacific Coast and in the Yukon. It is also the first day of Kwanzaa!

Those attending New Year’s Eve celebrations can expect rain and snow as the ball drops in New York City and a chilly rainfall in Atlanta, Nashville, and New Orleans. The weather will be chilly, with showers in Las Vegas and mild and rainy in Los Angeles. In Canada, snow will be falling as the year changes to 2024 in Montreal and Toronto, while it will be clear and very cold in Vancouver. Keep the rain gear handy if you will be attending the New Year’s Day Rose Parade or Rose Bowl game in Pasadena.

Weather and Climate Patterns

One crucial factor in the upcoming winter may be El Niño, although its potential strength could be held in check by cooler-than-average ocean temperatures between Baja California and Hawaii. Two others are the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which will be in a cool phase, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which will be neutral. Oscillations are linked ocean–atmosphere patterns that influence the weather over periods of weeks to years. 

We’re also monitoring solar activity, as there is a relationship between solar energy and the stratospheric winds near the equator known as the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Under certain conditions, the polar vortex can be displaced from the North Pole, opening the door for cold shots across the central and eastern United States and southern Canada this upcoming winter.

→ See our full 2023-2024 Winter Forecast Summary!

Don’t forget to order your copy of The 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac—a perfect stocking stuffer!

About The Author

Bob Smerbeck and Brian Thompson

Bob Smerbeck and Brian Thompson, our meteorologists, bring more than 50 years of experience to our famous weather forecasts. Read More from Bob Smerbeck and Brian Thompson