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.

RSS feed of this blog

A new month, a new weather pattern

As October waned the “Frankenstorm” brought rough weather to the Fredericksburg area with wild winds and several inches of rain.  Turns out that’s not all the system brought with it…a major pattern change resulted from this extremely large and powerful weather event.  Remember the high temperatures in the 80′s (F) just last week (now seemingly a distant memory)?  That was from a long wave ridge that had parked over the eastern half of the nation for a couple of weeks.  In the wake of Sandy et. al. this general pattern has shifted and we are now under a long wave trough as shown here:

Such a southern dip in the jet stream allows cold air to spill southward, provides the setup for surface low pressure systems to form, and creates the conditions for multiple upper air disturbances (short wave troughs or “Clipper systems”) that are smaller scale wrinkles riding on the jet stream.

Thus under a semi-stationary long wave trough – like the one we have over top us now – we usually see a number of fast moving little disturbances (with accompanying cloudiness and light precipitation) interspersed with larger low pressure systems.  At the moment several of these “Clippers” are forecast to traverse the Mid-Atlantic just far enough south to miss the ‘Burg, so our weather is forecast to remain dry and generally sunny and breezy over the next several days.  The  temperatures over the weekend and into early next week will be very Novemberish, with highs in the mid-50′s and lows in the mid-30′s.    But come the middle of next week it appears that another nor’easter  could form off Cape Hatteras and ride up the East Coast.

Even tho’ this next storm won’t be anywhere near as strong as the “Frankenstorm” it will be a big concern to the hard-hit coastal areas of New Jersey and New York.  The implications for the ‘Burg could mean more wind and rain but on a lesser scale than this week’s events.  After that storm?  We may see another pattern shift leading to a trough in the west and a ridge in the east as shown developing here:

That would mean Veteran’s Day weekend would be warmer for Fredericksburg than this weekend…but that’s still a bit far out to hang our hats on.  Let’s enjoy this weekend first!