The new year begins with a major change in the weather

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Richmond, Va. — Just about every day in December has had an above-normal high temperature.  This trend will last through the end of the month.

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A drastic change in the overall pattern will finally bring near-normal or below-normal temperatures more consistently in early January.

Temperatures will be briefly colder Monday before warmer air returns on Tuesday.  The big change comes heading into New Year’s Day.  Highs will likely stay below 50° Friday and will be in the mid to upper 40s for the first weekend of 2016.   Morning lows will be in the upper 20s and lower 30s Saturday, and in the 20s Sunday.  While that’s much colder than it’s been, those temperatures are normal for this time of year.

We have been above freezing since just after 9 a.m. on December 20.  We will probably see our next temperature at or below freezing by around 6 a.m. this coming Saturday.

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Longer range computer models show that we will see more chunks of cold air cycling through our region into mid-January.  Here is a plot of temperatures through January 4:

The first sign of any snow flakes that we see coming up may be some flurries Friday, January 8, into Saturday, January 9, mostly across northern Virginia.