Enjoy today’s weather while you can
…because November weather will return with a vengeance this evening (Friday). A strong – but dry – cold front is currently along the western slopes of the Appalachians and is chugging inexorably in our direction. Ahead of it we will experience increasing breezes from the southwest with highs in the low 60′s (F) once again today, but you might want to dig back out the heavier sweaters and jackets for Saturday and Sunday. Temperatures over the weekend will struggle to rise into the mid-40′s as cold Canadian air pours into the ‘Burg behind this boundary.
And in a switch from our relatively calm conditions the past few days it will be very windy tonight and tomorrow. Check out this graphic from yesterday afternoon that illustrated the wind at the 850 mb level (about 5000 feet above the ground):
Notice the light winds (unshaded area) that were over most of Virginia Thursday and also notice that none of the wiggly black lines cross the Old Dominion, an indication of very gradual pressure change. Now, check out this 850 mb forecast graphic for 11:00 a.m. Saturday:
Note the strong winds indicated by the brown and yellow shades and also notice that three of the black wiggly lines cross Virginia, indicating a strong pressure gradient over the Old Dominion. What this means is that at times tonight into Saturday afternoon we will see some wind gusts nearing 30 mph on top of the 9-18 mph general windfield that the NWS Sterling forecast calls for. This is the weekend that the term “wind chill” will re-enter our vocabulary.
So if you’re out and about today to take advantage of the Black Friday sales enjoy the outdoor conditions as much as you can. The weekend weather won’t be quite as tranquil or pleasant.