Quick pace of weather systems will keep us on our toes
The weather pattern has shifted into a fast-acting conveyor belt, swinging disturbances across the U.S. much more quickly than during the past several months. This is a more typical winter pattern and doesn’t provide much of a break between storm systems. After a sunny and pleasant (less windy) day today with a high temperature in the low 50′s (F) Christmas Eve will feature a new but fairly weak storm system that will bring some light rain that may start out as sleet Monday morning. Temperatures will warm quickly to provide all rain before noon and the overall moisture totals will be light.
Then Christmas Day will be mostly sunny with a high in the upper 40′s but clouds will be on the increase that afternoon as another storm system approaches from the southwest. This one will be stronger but the center will track west of the ‘Burg, invoking the specter of some more sleet – but no snow – Tuesday night before warming up to all rain by dawn on Wednesday. The biggest chances of icy conditions will remain westward over the Shenandoah valley and the mountains as shown in this HPC graphic:
So if your travel plans Christmas night or Boxing Day (Dec 26th) include a trip westward be aware of the potential for slippery road conditions there. Overall the rain totals from this storm look to be in the 3/4 to one inch range which would provide much needed moisture for our dry region.
The air temperatures will remain near average (highs in the 40′s) for the ‘Burg throughout most of this coming week. Then yet another weak disturbance will bring more chances of precipitation over next weekend, but we’ll wait until later in the week to discuss that one.