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By Chris White

Weather Blog: Since Fredericksburg resides "in the seam" between the Richmond VA and Washington DC media markets this blog is a look at the weather from a Fredericksburg-centric point of view.

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Back in the saddle just in time for a March snow

Given that last Thursday (March 1st) was the first day of meteorological spring one might think that the snow season of this extraordinarily mild year would be over, but not according to the Alberta Clipper that is currently spreading 4-6″ of snow (per NWS Sterling) over our area.  For any that were surprised by this morning’s events it should be noted that the last couple of forecast model runs nudged the track of this small low pressure system northward 50-75 miles from yesterday’s runs, so the narrow snow band associated with it is now pelting us with flakes instead of keeping it all south of the ‘Burg.  It should be all over with by mid-afternoon as this typically fast-moving clipper system scoots off the coast and takes the precipitation with it.

Meanwhile I found a neat graphic from the National Weather Service (NWS) that shows the effects of a La Nina winter – as we had both this year and last year – on the Fredericksburg area.

La Nina effects on our winter

The displacement of the polar jet stream to the north (plus a couple of other atmospheric conditions) has kept the really cold air locked up over Canada, so we have had very few Arctic air intrusions this winter season.  Indications are that this La Nina setup is weakening and may disappear entirely by summer, and what happens after that are anybody’s guess.

With regards once more to March snows we have seen some pretty significant events during the third month of the year.  In recent memory the “Superstorm of March ’93″ dumped several inches of snow and ice on the ‘Burg while the March 9 1999 storm brought over 4 inches of the white stuff here.  The good news is that March is a month in which cold temperatures don’t last very long so snowfall doesn’t stick around and that will be true of today’s white stuff as well.  The high temperature by Wednesday is forecast to reach over the 60 degree (F) mark.

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