Road surfaces freeze over and wind chill concerns tonight
In yesterday’s post I hazarded a “guess” that Fredericksburg would see a half-inch dusting of snow by dawn this morning as the rain/snow line location would be rather uncertain. It appears that the rain won out here since the temperature at Shannon airport only dropped to 36 degrees last night. This will continue to be the case today as temperatures ahead of the approaching Arctic front will remain above freezing, keeping our precipitation mainly rain but perhaps with a few “fuzzy” raindrops mixed in.
This afternoon between 3 and 4 p.m. the Arctic front will roar through here, pushing what may resemble a spring-time squall line of convective showers that will likely bring a burst of snow with them. The northerly winds will pick up dramatically after the front passes, increasing to near 20 mph this afternoon and going up to 25-30 mph this evening with gusts probably over 40 mph. Coupled with this the temperatures will drop quickly, reaching the freezing mark by 6 p.m. Any road surfaces that are still wet will freeze over by dark, so be very careful on the roads tonight.
Also overnight the “wrap around” moisture I’ve been watching on the models will bring some more snow showers into the area. The NWS Wakefield office is showing this graphic for snow totals:
Since their forecast area stops at Caroline and Westmoreland counties this graphic doesn’t show anything for Fredericksburg, but it’s safe to say that the “wrap around” moisture that would create these meager snowfall totals would also cause some here. I’ll back down my estimate for the ‘Burg to around an inch of snow by dawn Sunday.
Finally, I guess I need to reissue the semi-annual disclaimer that whatever weather conditions are mentioned on this blog are for the immediate Fredericksburg vicinity. As I have pointed out before conditions 8-10 miles from the city can be substantially different than they are near the city limits. That’s one of the driving forces behind this blog: emphasizing that our weather here can differ a lot from what the DC and Richmond media markets declare as their “official” weather coverage area. I try not to focus on the forecasting part – although I tend to fall into that trap a lot – and leave that to the pros at the National Weather Service. But sometimes I can disagree with them too…