Arctic blast followed by a wintry mix

RICHMOND, Va. -- A strong cold front will pass through the area early Thursday morning, and this will usher in the coldest air since last February.  While this arctic air mass has produced subzero temperatures in the Great Lakes, northern Plains and northern Rockies, our chill will be slightly more moderated.

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High temperatures Thursday afternoon will reach the low to mid 30s, but some 20s will occur across northern and northwestern Virginia.  Gusty winds will produce wind chills in the teens and 20s throughout the day.

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Lows Friday morning will range from the upper single digits to the mid teens across most of the area, with slightly warmer temperatures near the coast.  These will be the coldest temperatures since February 14 of last year.

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Highs on Friday will struggle to break much above 30° in many locations.

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Warmer air will surge back into the region over the weekend, producing highs in the 50s and 60s.  However, the cold air will be slow to leave Saturday morning, and this may produce some wintry precipitation.

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A storm system will spread moisture into the region late Friday night into daybreak Saturday.  The precipitation will start as a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.  This will occur in the metro from roughly 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. before temps rise above freezing.  Areas well south and east will see little mix and mostly rain.  Areas north and west of Richmond will hang onto a wintry mix until late morning or midday.  Far northern and western Virginia will keep the wintry mix into early afternoon.  Precipitation amounts will be light in the metro, but some slick spots will be possible.

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There is a better chance of a dusting or glaze on untreated surfaces well north and west of Richmond.  The heaviest precipitation will fall in far northern and western Virginia, where travel may become icy into early afternoon.

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A shot of heavier rain will pass through on Sunday as temperatures jump into the 60s.  Colder air will return Sunday night into Monday morning, and the precipitation will end as a light mix.