Cold front still due today
At the moment the approaching cold front is near the West Virginia / Virginia state line, meaning we’re still in the warm sector of the complex surface low pressure system to the northwest of the ‘Burg. The front itself will push through here later this morning with perhaps a sprinkle or two before clear skies retake the field. The winds will swap around to the west and northwest and pick up in intensity behind the front – gusting to 25+ mph – but temperatures won’t drop off very quickly since the air mass entering the Mid-Atlantic isn’t that cold.
After a low temperature tonight in the mid-30′s the winds will subside Wednesday and temperatures will warm into the mid-50′s (F) ahead of the next (stronger) cold front due through here Thursday night with a bit more rain associated with it. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post this front will open the door to some true Canadian air with high temperatures this coming weekend feeling much more like December, topping out in the mid-40′s even under sunny skies.
The arrival of colder air thus leads to the question of what Christmas week might be like. Right now the models are suggesting that temperatures in the ‘Burg will continue to be Decemberish under sunny skies both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but yet another storm system approaches from the west by mid-week. Both the GFS model and the vaunted ECMWF forecast model indicate this next surface low pressure system (circled in white) will also scoot into the Great Lakes by late next week:
This storm system track is usually a sign of a rain-maker for Fredericksburg (the red star in the above graphic). However, given the strength of this low pressure system it will yank down even more cold air behind it denoted by the blue and purple shadings. Thus the precipitation type – liquid or frozen – will be a race between how quickly the cold air is pulled into the ‘Burg vs. how long the moisture sticks around behind this system. Still a long way out yet to make a call on this one…