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.

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The week ahead and beyond

The upcoming week will feature a couple of storm systems that could affect the ‘Burg, one on New Year’s Day and another possibly Thursday into Friday.  The first system will be a weak one and will likely throw light amounts of rain into the equation on Tuesday (Jan. 1st) with high temperatures in the upper 40′s (F) and then possibly some snow showers that night as cold air rushes in before the moisture totally clears out.  Then the next storm system approaches Thursday, but right now the two main elements (a surface low along the Gulf Coast and a short wave trough approaching from the west) don’t look like they will “phase” together in time to produce a larger more powerful storm that could affect the ‘Burg.  Stay tuned on that one, tho’…

Then, a look further out provides an interesting perspective on January’s weather.  This forecast graphic from the Climate Prediction Center shows temperatures in the second week of January to be above normal for the eastern part of the nation:

That jives with the longer range climate parameters (the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation) which both show indications of climbing into the positive range during the first week of January.  This positive trend usually means warmer temperatures for us, and that reflects what the Climate Prediction Center shows in their graphic above.

The interesting part comes at the end of this period toward the end of the second week in January.  The long range models show a wickedly cold air mass bunching up over Hudson Bay in Canada, a handy place for chunks of frigid air to break off and slide down the East Coast.  We could quickly shift from a warmer than normal period to one of the coldest stretches of the current winter by mid-January.  That could mean both very cold below normal temperatures and the potential for any precipitation that does come our way to be mainly of the frozen variety.  Will all this happen as I’ve laid it out here?  I’m not a professional forecaster, but time will tell…