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The rain deficit continues

So where’s the rain?  The models late last week were showing between 3/4 and one inch of rain possibilities for Fredericksburg from this current system and it hasn’t materialized.  This HPC graphic shows the latest predicted surface feature positions at 1:00 pm today:

The red “L”‘s over Kentucky and northern Ohio illustrate a complex of double-barreled low pressure centers that at least one model (the NAM) has been predicting out of this system.  The northernmost low heads up the Ohio valley into New England while the southern low scoots along the Virginia/North Carolina border before intensifying just off the coast.  This “divide and conquer” routine leads to most of the Old Dominion receiving less rain than anticipated as shown in this graphic:

The lighter green shades show a precipitation minimum over Virginia which certainly won’t help our drought conditions any.

After this system clears out Tuesday and Wednesday look to be dry and partly sunny to sunny (respectively).  Temperatures behind the cold front will be mild again with highs near 60 degrees (F) Tuesday and in the mid-50′s on Wednesday.  Then Thursday will bring our next chance of rain associated with a much more energetic cold frontal passage.  This air mass boundary will open the door to some of the cooler Canadian air that has been banking up to our north, but I use the term “cooler” vice “cold” since its passage over hundreds of miles of snow-free terrain will have warmed this air quite a bit before it arrives.  Friday and Saturday will be rather windy with high temperatures in the mid-40′s to the low 50′s.

So when will true winter temperatures arrive in the ‘Burg to stay?  That very question is being debated by many meteorologists as I write this.  At the moment – and let me emphasize those 3 words – I don’t see any indications of a major pattern shift that would plunge us into frigid winter weather.  The recurring path of low pressure systems across the middle of the nation before they swoop northeast into New England and yank down brief shots of colder air behind them seems to be set for the moment.   This pattern means the ‘Burg is on the warm (rainy) side of these systems.  Will this change anytime soon?  Like I said, lots of folks are debating this now.

Meanwhile, have a good week!

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