Christmas Eve is upon us and as we say in Texas, Santa is fixin’ to get his sleigh packed. But first, he is checking with Wilkens Weather, A Rockwell Collins Company, for the first leg of his journey around the world. From the North Pole, his first stops will likely be in Uelen, Chukotka in far eastern Russia.
From what Santa has entered into Rockwell Collins ARINCDirect Flight Manager, he will leave the North Pole on Friday, December 24, 1155UTC (11:55 PM in far eastern Russia).
A low pressure center just east of Svalbard has a strong front extending just across the North Pole and across most of the Laptev Sea. As Santa stays behind the front, he will encounter some light snow showers but will be able to take advantage of a strong northerly tailwind. Once he is south of 78°N, winds are forecast to turn westerly, which will be ideal for his final approach into Uelen.
The Uelen forecast for midnight calls for above-average temperatures: -7°C (19°F), variably cloudy skies with a slight chance for snow flurries. Overall, a warmer than expected start for Santa is seen in the Wilkens’ forecast.
Some weather trouble spots for Santa could be Typhoon Nock-ten near the Philippines, Tropical Cyclone Yvette approaching Western Australia, a storm system moving into Norway, along with a cold front bringing storms to portions of South Africa. Across the Americas, a cold front across southern Argentina could bring strong thunderstorms, a strong low pressure system exiting the Canadian Maritimes will bring heavy snow showers and gusty winds. Finally, a low pressure system developing off the Rockies will bring heavier snow to portions of Utah and into the Four Corners region.
From all of us at Wilkens Weather, and Rockwell Collins, we wish you Happy Holidays and prosperous 2017.