A little bit of naughty and a little bit of nice on this Christmas week forecast

December 21, 2020 Morning Forecast
Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 9:29 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Temperatures will be mild to start the Christmas holiday week. There will be a good amount of sun with some upper level cirrus clouds passing through today. Winds may be a little breezy out of the west northwest at 10 to 20 mph. Look for highs from the upper 40s and lower 50s over snow covered areas to mid and even upper 50s elsewhere.

Late this afternoon and early this evening, after the sun goes down, look toward the southwestern sky. From our view here on earth, the planets of Jupiter and Saturn will be very close in alignment, making them look like they are touching, but in reality they will still be millions of miles from each other. To the naked eye, they will appear as one bright star in the sky. This is the closest these two planets have been since 1623 and about 800 years since this happened at night. It won’t happen again until 2080, so many reading this may not witness it again. If you have access to a telescope, this is certainly a celestial happening worth checking out. Skies are expected to be mostly clear tonight, so unless the cirrus clouds become quite thick, you should be able to see this event.

Low temperatures tonight will drop back into the mid 20s to mid 30s. Heading into the day tomorrow, we’ll see south winds pick up and become breezy/windy. The strongest winds will be in Eastern Nebraska where gusts to 35 mph will be possible. Farther west, the winds won’t be quite as strong. Tuesday will be the warmest day of the week as highs temperatures climb into the mid to upper 50s and lower 60s for most. Expect mostly sunny skies.

Tuesday night, a cold front will come plowing through the area from the northwest. Behind the front, there could be some very light rain or snow. Of greater notice will be the abrupt increase in northwesterly winds behind the front. Those winds will increase up to around 25 to 35 mph with gusts approaching 50 mph. These winds will continue into Wednesday. A small chance of light snow will still be possible on Wednesday. If any snow is able to develop and fall later Tuesday night into Wednesday, visibility restrictions would be possible due to the strong winds. There will also be a big drop in temperatures behind the cold front. High temperatures on Wednesday will only be in the mid 20s to mid 30s from north to south.

Christmas Eve (Thursday) will still be chilly and breezy with mainly sunny skies. Highs on Thursday may range from the mid 20s northeast to the mid 40s west. Warmer temperatures will budge in on a sunny Christmas Day. We should see another milder day on Saturday before a cold front brings colder air and more wind on Sunday. High temperatures Friday and Saturday are difficult to nail down at this point as forecast models aren’t in agreement with how much warm air moves in. For now, we’ll go with highs in the 40s northeast and 50s southwest on those two days. More specificity to the forecast will come as we get closer to the end of the week. Sunday will be colder with highs in the 30s north and 40s south.

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