The 2008 Flying Reindeer Forecast

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

Share this Blog
7
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 55 - 5

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5Blog Index

The CFS forecast for La Nina for the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
54. ayi
Quoting sandiquiz:
As Dr masters Blog is about Reindeer I just thought this might be something for you to think about this Christmas :))

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November.

However female reindeer retain their antlers 'till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer in late December, the beloved reindeer, from Blitzen to Rudolph had to be GIRLS !

We should have known. ONLY WOMEN would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost!!!

Sorry guys!! LOL

A very Happy Christmas to you all!!

In fact it proves that Santa's base is at the south pole. That's why he starts off with New Zealand because it's so close. The north pole address is just a decoy to stop too many visitors from disturbing his work through the year making all those toys.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
DS was just asking when Santa has to leave the North Pole--thanks for the link to the countdown! We'll be tracking all day tomorrow!

Merry Christmas everyone! (and Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwaanza, Happy New Year,Happy EVERYTHING!!)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
STORMTOP just sent me a PM saying that Santa isn't real.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Billy's eye showing up as cloud temperatures inside the eye warm adiabatically.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NEwxguy:
25. halebopp 4:22 PM GMT on December 23, 2008
You have to consider the fact that Santa may well be a macroscopic quantum object. That would totally change the way he does his work.


You really know how to take the magic out of Christmas
Are u kidding? That made me believe in Santa all over again . . . lol.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22576
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Northern Territory
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
5:00 am ACST December 24 2008

At 3:30 am CST, a TROPICAL LOW [1002 hPa] located over the southern Darwin-Daly District. it was near 15.3S 132.6E, or about 100 kilometres south southeast of Katherine, moving west southwest at 14 kilometres per hour. The low is expected to continue moving towards the west southwest and into the northern Victoria River District during today.

Damaging wind gusts up to 100 km/h with thunderstorms may occur in the western
Roper-McArthur, southern Darwin-Daly, including Katherine and the northern
Victoria River Districts this morning before easing during the day.

Heavy rain currently falling over the Arnhem, western Roper-McArthur and
southern Darwin-Daly Districts, including the Katherine region, is expected to
continue today and extend further into the northern Victoria River District
during the morning, causing significant stream rises and flooding of low lying
areas. Rain will begin to ease from the east later today.

The Northern Territory Emergency Service advises that people should secure loose
outside objects and seek shelter when the conditions deteriorate. Driving
conditions may be hazardous - avoid flooded roads and watercourses.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46161
No snow predicted for Everglades. ;>)
Come on down Santa, the water's fine!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advice Number FORTY-NINE
TROPICAL CYCLONE BILLY
3:45 AM WDT December 24 2008
=====================================

At 3:00 am WDT, Tropical Cyclone Billy, Category One [986 hPa] located at 17.9S 120.3E or 205 kms west of Broome and 325 kms north-northeast of Port Hedland has 10 minute sustained winds of 45 knots with gusts of 65 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west-southwest at 5 knots.

TC Billy is currently located west of Broome and is moving away from the Kimberley coast. In the next 24 hours the cyclone is expected to move in a generally westerly direction.

GALES with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour may develop between Bidyadanga and Whim Creek during Wednesday if Billy takes a more southwest track.

Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings
=================================
A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal communities from Bidyadanga to Whim Creek.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for coastal areas from Whim Creek to Mardie.

The Cyclone WARNING from Beagle Bay to Bidyadanga has been cancelled.

Tropical Cyclone Technical Bulletin
==================================
12 HRS: 17.9S 119.0E - 55 knots (CAT 2)
24 HRS: 17.6S 117.5E - 60 knots (CAT 2)
48 HRS: 16.7S 114.9E - 70 knots (CAT 3)
72 HRS: 15.6S 112.4E - 55 knots (CAT 2)

Remarks:
Billy was located by radar west of Broome moving steadily west southwest, although clearly undergoing trochoidal oscillation along the mean track. It is difficult to assign a DT number on most images. Intensity has been based on PAT of 3.0.

The system is showing renewed convection near the centre on satellite, and slightly improved structure near the centre on radar. As Billy is now moving away from the coast in a generally favourable environment it is expected that an intensification trend may become established during Wednesday. The small size of the system complicates intensity forecasting with the system likely to be responsive to subtle changes in the environment, and capable of intensifying and weakening rapidly.

Model guidance is consistent with a steady W'ly track then a W/NW track in the 24-72 hour timeframe, well off the Pilbara coast under the influence of a mid-level ridge to the south. However, motion is partially dependent on the erosion of the peripheral ridge by the system currently over the Top End, hence the risk of a Pilbara coastal impact can not yet be dismissed.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46161
Good afternoon... Merry Xmas and New Years too.

We we'll see how 2009 will treat us Weather wise. :) It will be another interesting year if a weak La Nina to neutral ENSO conditions do persist well into next year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jaikishan:
Just wondering if I missed something in the Blog, would Santa be going to Africa?
Maybe they get the three wise men there.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22576
Merry Christmas greetings from over the pond! :)
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Merry Christmas Dr. M and all! Awesome photo of the Reindeer, thank you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
42. auburn (Mod)
Merry Christmas Dr Masters!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HOLIDAY OUTLOOK POSTED:
South Florida StormWatch
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Great blog Dr. M!!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Classic post Dr. M, I was wondering what you might up for christmas. 75 degrees here, choppy surf all in all not a bad day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Whoooa Nelly - just loved the post Dr. M -- sure wish I could saddle up those rain deer and go for a ride in the sky
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
25. halebopp 4:22 PM GMT on December 23, 2008
You have to consider the fact that Santa may well be a macroscopic quantum object. That would totally change the way he does his work.


You really know how to take the magic out of Christmas
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gotta love that forecast.
Merry Christmas to Dr. Masters and the Weather Underground Staff.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HOHOHOHOHOHOHO, 'tis the Season to be Jolly.
Been away for a few days. All is well.

Sending EVERYONE, HAPPY CHRISTMAS GREETINGS, from the Sunny, Warm, Breezy island of Trinidad.
Hoping that all is Peace and Harmony with you and yours, and that we all keep The Christ, in CHRISTmas.

Bliss to the World........
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24652
Merry Christmas, Dr. Masters!

I'll be watching the skies on Christmas Eve!

(Bug wanders off, humming "♫ ♪ Up on the rooftop, click, click, click....... ♫ ♪")
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Happy holidays to all here and may you all have a prosperous 2009. (with less hurricanes)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Merry Christmas and Happy 2009 to you all. Thanks for all the insight and entertainment in 2008!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just wanted to wish Happy Holidays to everyone. Not much to talk about weatherwise here. Winds are about 25-30 mph and raining right now but not hot which is great Temps in the upper 70's. Happy Holiday to all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As Dr masters Blog is about Reindeer I just thought this might be something for you to think about this Christmas :))

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November.

However female reindeer retain their antlers 'till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer in late December, the beloved reindeer, from Blitzen to Rudolph had to be GIRLS !

We should have known. ONLY WOMEN would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost!!!

Sorry guys!! LOL

A very Happy Christmas to you all!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Merry Christmas, Doc M!!! Loved the post...Joy and blessings to you and yours..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
here comes santa claus here comes santa claus

Have a Merry Christmas everyone. Doc thanks for the blog!

Tampa thanks for the link =)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey...Everyone have a happy and healthy holiday season! More to come in June 2009!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You have to consider the fact that Santa may well be a macroscopic quantum object. That would totally change the way he does his work.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Jeff Masters.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:
Shopping? why the rush..I still have all of tomorrow... but I really should start soon I guess?
Things will cost less after Christmas. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Shopping? why the rush..I still have all of tomorrow... but I really should start soon I guess?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Good Morning All:

Thanks for the update Dr. M.
Merry Eve of Christmas Eve! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Santa Tracking Link with a Countdown till take off.......LOL

Santa Tracking Link
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Merry Christmas Dr. Jeff Masters....to you and your Family



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
"As Santa heads south through Siberia into China" To pick up the toys....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I updated my Blog last nite if anyone would like to reveiw. I also completed the Christmas Song loop that some was wanting to play on Christmas Eve. I hope you all enjoy as my Wife helped me Alot with it. Merry Christmas Everyone.......Hitting the Mall for last minute stuff. Yeppieeee......Kids are all home from College and we are loving it.

TampaSpins Weather Blog Link with a Chrismas Forecast
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
And tomorrow all the news shows will start reporting the tracking of the sleigh as it makes its trip around the world.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Excellent Blog Jeff and happy holidays to you.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15946
12. Every year I tell myself that I"m going to get it done early...never happens. I think I am an adrenaline junkie or maybe a masochist. Problem here is we have one way in to where you need to go and one way out...so basically you sit in traffic forever before you can get to where you're going. At least people are being patient.

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
Awsome Blog today Dr. M.
Wish you and your family a Very Merry Christmas!!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Merry Christmas, Dr Masters. Thank you for all you do!

8. -- I know the feeling re last minute shopping. I started yesterday too. Day two of my three day extravaganza starts soon. I actually enjoy the craziness; I hope you do too.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Merry Christmas,Dr. Masters,and to all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jaikishan:
Just wondering if I missed something in the Blog, would Santa be going to Africa?


Have to ask.. why wouldn't he?
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
AAAAaaaRRRgggghhhhh!!!!
Complete Blog Refresh
Mirror Site

Watches/warnings in effect for coastal British Columbia...

Snowfall warning for:
=new= Metro Vancouver
=new= Greater Victoria
=new= Fraser valley
=new= Howe Sound
=new= Sunshine Coast
=new= southern Gulf islands
=new= East Vancouver Island
=new= west Vancouver Island
=new= inland Vancouver Island
=new= North Vancouver Island
=new= Central Coast - Coastal Sections
=new= North Coast - Coastal Sections.

10 to 20 cm of snow expected tonight and Wednesday.

This is a warning that significant snowfall is expected or
occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..
listen for updated statements.

Arctic outflow warning for:
Central Coast - Inland Sections
North Coast - Inland Sections.

Strong outflow winds and cold Arctic air will continue to
produce wind chill values below minus 20 today.

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Morning All - Happy Hanaukkah and Merry Christmas! Off to do more shopping - just started yesterday. :(

Found this on CNN and though that it sounded like something the folks here would do. Heartwarming.

Link
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
Great Christmas Blog Doc. You and yours have Merry Christmas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just wondering if I missed something in the Blog, would Santa be going to Africa?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 55 - 5

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Overcast
59 °F
Overcast