RICHMOND, Va. — Much of the eastern half of the nation continues to deal with a very early season deep freeze, and in the case of Upstate New York, a staggering amount neck-deep snow. The worst of the cold is now behind us, at least temporarily, but not before a record-setting morning across much of the Mid-Atlantic. Our low this morning of 18 degrees tied the record for this date that has stood since 1936.
Our next big weather change will be a dramatic swing in the other direction, with highs in the upper 60s and low 70s. We’ll also pick up some very much needed rainfall along the way. We’ll have one setback before we get to the warmer weather in the form of a cold front that will arrive Thursday evening. This front will halt a brief warm-up that will take our highs into the low 50s Thursday afternoon. Below is the current position of the front.
The front will bring a reinforcing shot of cold air that will keep highs in the low 40s Friday and upper 40s on Saturday. Saturday’s lows will likely fall into the upper teens and low 20s across central Virginia. Our pattern really begins to change on Sunday, as southwesterly flow develops over the area, and a storm system currently across the northeast Pacific moves into the eastern U.S. Rain will overspread the area Sunday afternoon and evening, bringing rainfall totals in the range of 0.50″ to 1″ across the majority of the area. Below is the forecast rainfall from 3 PM Sunday through 3 PM Monday from one of several medium range models.
We’ll see temps reach the upper 50s and low 60s on Sunday, even with the incoming rain, and highs will soar into the upper 60s and low 70s. The upper-level pattern looks favorable in the longer term to keep the brutal arctic cold out of Virginia, at least through early December. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the jet stream today versus 10 days from now. While we’ll likely see deep troughing develop at times, the source region will not be of pure arctic origin as we’ve seen over the past several days, tempering the overall impact on our weather.
This pattern could easily shift back to a very cold east coast trough, but the break in the short-term will be a nice change. I need a few semi-mild days to clean out the gutters and put up Christmas decorations. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate.