The 2008 Flying Reindeer Forecast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:04 AM GMT on December 23, 2008

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Santa's reindeer will be hitting the skies tomorrow, and the official Weather Underground Flying Reindeer Forecast (FRF) calls for some tricky turbulence and tough sledding for Santa in some regions of the world. As Santa begins his adventure, temperatures will be a crisp -20 degrees at the North Pole Workshop. Foggy conditions will require Rudolph's red nose to light the way, since the light winds blowing simultaneously from the south and north at the Pole (think about that for a second, it's true!) will not be strong enough to disperse the fog. As Santa heads south through Siberia into China, he'll be riding a strong jet of polar air that could bring some tricky turbulence. Santa's sleigh will be heavily loaded at this point, and he'll have to negotiate the turbulent skies with great caution to avoid dumping any of his precious cargo. Fortunately, heavy snows cover much of China and eastern Asia, allowing smooth rooftop landings for the sleigh.



As Santa heads south to the Australian continent, the sledding gets much tougher. He'll have to dodge Tropical Cyclone Billy, along Australia's northwest coast. With hot summer temperatures prevailing across Australia, Santa's team will have to execute pinpoint rooftop landings to avoid showering sparks on the dry, fire-prone vegetation. As Santa heads west across Indonesia into southern Asia, he'll need to call upon the thunderstorm avoidance skills of his reindeer, Donner and Blitzen. These storm-savvy critters, named after the German words for thunder and lightning, are experts at sniffing out turbulence-free routes through seemingly impenetrable areas of thunderstorms.

Approaching Turkey, Santa will have to avoid the razor-sharp blue triangles of a cold front. Once through the front, though, he'll find ideal conditions over Turkey and Eastern Europe, where cold temperatures and snowy rooftops abound. However, the sledding quickly degrades over Western Europe, where only Scandinavia and the Alps can expect a white Christmas.

The Western Hemisphere portion of the Flying Reindeer Forecast calls for smooth flying over South America and the Caribbean. But the best conditions of Santa's entire journey await over the United States and Canada, where a series of major snow storms have left excellent rooftop snows. In the Northeast U.S., though, it'll be slow slogging for Santa, with heavy rains expected in an advance of a strong cold front expected to track through on Christmas Eve. The cold front will bring thunderstorms to the Southeast, and Donner and Blitzen will be called upon to safely guide Santa's sleigh through the front to the Southern U.S., where smooth sailing and clear skies will prevail. Excellent sledding awaits Santa in the Midwest and Northwest, where fresh snow from the latest in a series of significant winter storms will delight Santa's reindeer. However, significant rains over Southern California could make for some dangerous mudslide conditions. Santa may be forced to break into his stash to find boogie boards intended for California kids, to help him ride out the mudflows. Santa's final leg northwards across Alaska to the North Pole should be mostly uneventful, and we can expect that clear skies over the Pole upon Santa's return will make for a beautiful Christmas scene as Rudolph guides the sleigh to a perfect landing.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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205. BahaHurican
9:23 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
It's been mostly overcast here, but at least it's not raining anymore .. . lol

Hope the meal turned out great.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
204. catastropheadjuster
5:59 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Quoting BahaHurican:
Sher, good to see u have computer access again. Compliments of the season to you.


Baha: Thanks and hope you have a wonderful day. It's rainy here in Lower Alabama, but that's ok it's not bad. Cooking a major feast.
sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3657
203. HIEXPRESS
5:58 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
202. animalrsq
5:34 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas and thank you to all on this blog. I mostly lurk but today wanted to tell you all how much I appreciate not only the information but the generosity and kindness of this community. And Presslord, you brought tears to my eyes with your post last night. Best wishes to all of you for a happy holiday and a wonderful new year.
Member Since: August 4, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
201. all4hurricanes
5:34 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Here's a link for cyclone Billy Link
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2356
200. zoomiami
4:54 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas - its warm and muggy here in Miami - but it does have the decency to have a little cloud cover.

May everyone have a great day, filled with family, friends, and angels.

Hey Orca - hope you don't live down hill!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4141
199. Orcasystems
4:40 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Quoting pottery:
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.
IT IS A FANTASTIC DAY.


Merry Christmas to you :)
It is a fantastic day.. its not snowing, and it appears we are going back to our normal temperatures.. that also has its bad points.. two feet of snow melting in about three days with the help of rain.... can you say flooding :(

Ahhh the winter season and Holidays.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
198. pottery
2:29 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.
IT IS A FANTASTIC DAY.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24100
197. BahaHurican
1:45 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas to all in the WeatherUnderground family, especially Doctor Masters and his family, but also including all our techies. Special Christmas greetings also go out to all my Caribbean buddies - hope u are getting sunshine today! Feliz Navidad y prospero Año Nuevo a todos!


Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
195. severstorm
12:43 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas to all.Santa brought alittle rain shower with him. All is very welcome. Enjoy the holiday. Zephyrhills FL. John
Member Since: November 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 956
194. surfmom
12:36 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
The tribe still sleeps - I'm getting ready for my Christmas 15 miler run -- happy it's 69 degrees in SWFL -- perfect for running and no need for gloves, hats or anything long sleeved.

SWFL SURFERS: Well we just didn't get any.
Almost always had surf for the Holidays..... not so this year. 2006 - we had groundswell, 2007 we had a cold front -- this year...a flatspell. Gas is cheap -- so if you can run away -- go to where the sunrises.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
192. Raysfan70
12:32 PM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry
Christmas!
{{Dr.Master's and Family}}!




Rays,Wobbie and Boys
Member Since: July 28, 2005 Posts: 138 Comments: 57354
191. AllyBama
6:48 AM GMT on December 25, 2008

Christian Glitter by www.christianglitter.com



Merry Christmas DrM and all fellow WU members..
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 132 Comments: 20635
190. JLPR
6:13 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas!!

and Santa is in Mexico!! xD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
189. scla08
6:01 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas To Everyone!!
Member Since: July 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 272
188. zoomiami
4:10 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas to everyone, thanks for a great year, and I look forward to next year.

This community is like your neighborhood pub in cyber space!
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4141
187. BahaHurican
3:49 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Quoting catastropheadjuster:
I just wanted to tell everyone on WU to have a Very Merry Christmas. I haven't been around cause computer crashed but i am back. I have really missed everyone. And Presslord God Bless you. SC2007 I see your here to,and surfmom. God Bless everyone on WU this is a very big family on here.
Sheri
Sher, good to see u have computer access again. Compliments of the season to you.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
186. SWFLgazer
3:38 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas to all. And to all a very boring (weather wise) 2009.
Member Since: August 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 447
185. catastropheadjuster
3:09 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
I just wanted to tell everyone on WU to have a Very Merry Christmas. I haven't been around cause computer crashed but i am back. I have really missed everyone. And Presslord God Bless you. SC2007 I see your here to,and surfmom. God Bless everyone on WU this is a very big family on here.
Sheri
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3657
184. AstroHurricane001
2:43 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
It's also windy here right now. Winds are gusting up to 75 km/h (45 mph), from what I estimate.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
183. melwerle
2:36 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Merry christmas everyone...I'm not even going to kvetch tonight. My youngest is enjoying the holiday too much...one teaches you love, another teaches you patience. ;)

Cheers and happy holidays to all.

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
182. AstroHurricane001
2:12 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Wow, Billy is a major cyclone?! What else did I miss? Anyway here in S. Ontario there's about 40 cm (15 in) of snow on the ground, but it's wet snow because of the rain and above-freezing temperatures, but anyway I built my snowball for the base of my snowman about 80 cubic feet today.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2835
181. BahaHurican
1:50 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
I thought a westward track with Billy would be the best of all worlds - some excitement here for us, NO excitement there for people on the Pilbara coast. . . LOL
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
180. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1:43 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
night surfermom
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44885
179. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1:30 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Tropical Cyclone Technical Bulletin
==================================
12 HRS: 17.4S 116.1E - 80 knots (CAT 3)
24 HRS: 16.7S 114.8E - 70 knots (CAT 3)
48 HRS: 16.0S 112.6E - 55 knots (CAT 2)
72 HRS: 16.7S 110.6E - 45 knots (CAT 1)

REMARKS:
Billy was located by radar and satellite imagery well to the north of Karratha
moving steadilyto the west. The period intensification ceased overnight with the eye becoming partially obscured by IR imagery, although microwave shows a clear eye still
evident.

Dvorak DT/FT=5.0 based on eye pattern White surround 6.0 less 1.0 eye adjustment W/CMG. CI held at 5.5. estimates increasing by 2.0T in 24 hours.

Billy is likely to continue a westerly then northwesterly track well off the Pilbara coast under the influence of a mid-level ridge to the south. A change to a more southerly track is not expected and the threat of a coastal impact has passed.

A slow to moderate weakening is expected particularly when the system moves over
lower sea surface temperatures west of 115E on 26 December. Although it is possible that the system may remain at cyclone intensity for some days over open waters.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44885
178. surfmom
1:24 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
177 Hades --- ahhh no land warnings - Peace on Earth

Nite all
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
177. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
1:22 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advice Number FIFTY-NINE
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE BILLY
9:50 AM WDT December 25 2008
=====================================

At 9:00 am WDT, Severe Tropical Cyclone Billy, Category Four [953 hPa] located at 17.5S 117.3E or 340 kilometres north northwest of Port Hedland and 365 kilometres north of Karratha has 10 minute sustained winds of 90 knots with gusts of 125 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 6 knots.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Billy is an intense system moving on a general westerly track well off the Pilbara coast. It is likely to continue on a westerly to northwesterly track and GALES are no longer expected on the Pilbara coast.

  • No further advices will be issued for this system unless it moves back towards the coast.

  • Please refer to Information Bulletin or Forecast Track Map for further details.

    ---
    no more land warnings ^_^
  • Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44885
    176. GeneW
    1:09 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
    Merry Christmas Dr. Jeff and to your family.

    Gene Phillip Winters
    Member Since: November 9, 2007 Posts: 388 Comments: 81
    175. BahaHurican
    12:56 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
    Here's our current:

    Nassau, BS (Airport)
    Updated: -41 sec ago
    73 °F / 23 °C
    Mostly Cloudy
    Humidity: 100%
    Dew Point: 73 °F / 23 °C
    Wind: 10 mph / 17 km/h / 4.6 m/s from the East
    Pressure: 30.27 in / 1025 hPa (Steady)
    Visibility: 6.2 miles / 10.0 kilometers
    UV: 0 out of 16
    Clouds: Scattered Clouds 1500 ft / 457 m
    Scattered Clouds 3500 ft / 1066 m
    Mostly Cloudy 8000 ft / 2438 m
    (Above Ground Level)


    I got practically nothing done today, and I had PLANS!!!
    Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
    174. BahaHurican
    12:54 AM GMT on December 25, 2008
    Press, mail.

    Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21595
    173. Patrap
    11:29 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Welcome to NORAD Tracks Santa. We hope you enjoyed this short video of Santa's 2007 journey.
    To track him this year on the official NORAD Tracks Santa website, go to www.noradsanta.orgLink

    To track him in Google Earth, go to www.noradsanta.org/en/track3d.html

    Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127689
    172. Starwoman
    11:09 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Its 00.05 hier in Switzerland -> merry Christmas to all of you!
    Being part of the WU-community has been a wunderfull eyperience. Although I lurk most of the time I still feel part of you all.

    Presslord - good to hear you solved some important questions. Often it needs a hard experience to face these issues. I do hope the cancer is in control and you can start the new year with fresh hope. Wish you all the best.
    Member Since: September 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 196
    171. futuremet
    10:28 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    wow now Billy is a major tropical cyclone
    Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
    170. FLWeatherFreak91
    10:09 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Merry Christmas all of you!
    Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3619
    169. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
    9:56 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
    Tropical Cyclone Advice Number FIFTY-EIGHT
    SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE BILLY
    6:45 AM WDT December 25 2008
    =====================================

    At 6:00 am WDT Severe Tropical Cyclone Billy, Category Four [948 hPa] located at 17.5S 117.5S or 335 kilometres north northwest of Port Hedland and 365 kilometres north of Karratha 10 minute sustained winds of 95 knots with gusts of 135 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 14 kilometres per hour.

    Severe Tropical Cyclone Billy is an intense system located well to the north of the Pilbara coast and is moving steadily on a west northwesterly track.

    GALES with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour may develop between Port Hedland and Mardie during today only if Billy takes a more southwesterly track. Minimal rainfall is expected on the Pilbara coast unless Billy takes a more southwesterly track.

    Tropical Cyclone Warnings
    =========================
    A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal communities from Port Hedland to Mardie.

    ---
    no change in intensity or pressure
    Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44885
    168. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
    9:47 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    162. surfmom 8:24 PM GMT on December 24, 2008

    Billy is still being a nuisance....



    yup winds should start to ease a little after tomorrow.. (cooler waters at least)

    Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44885
    167. billy305
    9:30 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    :D
    Little Bill is growing up ;D
    166. surfmom
    9:11 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Life & Ike really affected a great many people in a lot of different ways this year -- lots of new perspectives for many of us
    Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
    165. surfmom
    9:09 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Hey Sailor --Got Rum and warm skies..... the beach is gorgeous here ... sailboats got good wind too
    Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
    164. presslord
    8:51 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Only a handful of you know this...but it seems an appropriate time to share it with all..

    ...so, if you think any good could come of it, please feel free to post it elsewhere as well...

    In late Februaruy of this year I was diagnosed with Stage 2 melanoma...it was a black spot about an inch long and a half inch wide on my lower left eyelid...

    The first surgery (to remove the cancer) was in March, the week before my 49th birthday...the second (to begin rebuilding the eyelid) was later the same month...the final surgery (to finish the eyelid work) was in late August..two and a half weeks before Ike hit...

    so...

    I spent a good portion of this year dealing with facing fifty...fearing death...anger with God...questioning my faith....wondering if I'd spent too much of my life building my financial pile and not enough serving others...generally pondering some pretty deep issues...

    suffice it to say: much of this year was spent in physical, spiritual, and emotional agony...

    the reaction of this community after Ike (described in the guest blog Dr. Masters was kind enough to let me write) paid it all off for me...

    my anger toward God was resolved....clarity of priorities became obvious...my faith was restored...and strengthened...

    and I have this community to thank for it all....

    Merry Christmas everybody
    Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10479
    163. severstorm
    8:29 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    stormchaser2007, thanks for the link kid is loving it. thank you again Merry Christmas to All
    Member Since: November 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 956
    162. surfmom
    8:24 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Billy is still being a nuisance....
    Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
    161. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
    7:40 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
    Tropical Cyclone Advice Number FIFTY-SEVEN
    SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE BILLY
    3:50 AM WDT December 25 2008
    =====================================

    At 3:00 am WDT Severe Tropical Cyclone Billy, Category Four [948 hPa] located at 17.6S 117.9E or 310 kms north northwest of Port Hedland and 365 kms north-northeast of Karratha has 10 minute sustained winds of 95 knots with gusts of 135 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-northwest at 7 knots.

    Severe Tropical Cyclone Billy is an intense system located well to the north of Port Hedland and is moving steadily on a west northwesterly track.

    GALES with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour may develop between Port Hedland and Mardie during today only if Billy takes a more southwesterly track. Minimal rainfall is expected on the Pilbara coast unless Billy takes a more southwesterly track.

    Tropical Cyclone Warnings
    =========================
    A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal communities from Port Hedland to Mardie.

    The Cyclone WARNING from Pardoo to Port Hedland has been cancelled.

    Tropical Cyclone Technical Bulletin
    ====================================
    12 HRS: 17.3S 116.4E - 90 knots (CAT 4)
    24 HRS: 16.8S 115.1E - 75 knots (CAT 3)
    48 HRS: 15.6S 112.8E - 50 knots (CAT 2)
    72 HRS: 16.1S 110.4E - 40 knots (CAT 1)

    Remarks:
    At 18UTC Billy was located well to the north of Port Hedland moving steadily west northwest. Billy has intensified rapidly over the past 24 hours, with Dvorak estimates increasing by 2.0T in 24 hours. Raw DT numbers reached 6.5 on the 0930Z and 1030Z images based on a W surround with CMG/DG Eadj but more recently a time averaged DT number of 5.5 is attained using the eye pattern.

    Billy is likely to be at peak intensity over the next 6 hours then increasing shear will affect the system thereafter and once the system moves west of 115E - on 26 December - the oceanic heat content becomes less favourable. The system is then expected to weaken rapidly given its small size.

    Model guidance is consistent with a steady W/NW track over the next 72 hours under the influence of a mid-level ridge to the south, with the system remaining well off the Pilbara coast.

    While it is unlikely that Billy will take a track closer to the Pilbara coast, several ensemble members of two generally skilful NWP models indicate that a southwesterly or southerly motion is still possible, so cautionary community warnings are being maintained until the risk further diminshes.
    Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44885
    160. pottery
    6:17 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Hello all.
    Just repeating, for those that may have missed it--

    Have a Very Happy and Joyful Christmas, and a most Wonderful New Year.

    It has been a great experience for me, in this Community this year.
    Thank you, to all the WUBA Members, all over, who make it Special.
    Particular thanks to Dr. Jeff, who makes it all happen.

    A Toast is in order...
    Cheers !
    Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24100
    159. MarylandGirl
    5:59 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Merry Christmas to all. Looking forward to another great year for WU!

    I have truly enjoyed all the knowledgeable posts and had some good laughs on the 'fun' days.

    Thanks to all!
    Member Since: September 10, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 486
    158. atmoaggie
    5:54 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Quoting hydrus:
    VORTFIX-I you would,please explain the severe weather situation for this weekend a little further,my mom lives in central Tennesee and is very ill with cancer and may need someone to be with her.


    Mom...cancer...one days drive from most anywhere east of the continental divide...Christmas.

    Might I be bold enough to suggest that someone should certainly be with her (assuming you/others are on the same continent)? Totally not meaning to offend here; you could call it advice. Who knows, you might regret not being there someday (trust me, from personal experience). OK, enough of that.

    Merry Christmas, all.
    Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
    157. Stormchaser2007
    5:45 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Fun little Google earth file for the kids....

    Link
    Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15790
    155. Cotillion
    5:14 PM GMT on December 24, 2008
    Now in Russia...

    From Australia to Siberia in one day. That suit must have some air conditioning on it.
    Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300

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    Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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