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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Quiet weather ahead to be followed by a temperature rollercoaster

The remainder of this week’s weather – and into next week – will be relatively quiet compared to recent events.  No big storms, no very windy cold fronts, nor any drastic temperature changes are in the forecast for the next several days.  Thus the ‘Burg will see more sun than clouds, dry conditions, and temperatures around the normal range for this time of year (low 40′s (F) for highs and mid-20′s for lows).

Starting early next week the weather pattern will change enough to allow increasingly warmer temperatures to invade the region.  In what could be described as a “January thaw” (even tho’ it hasn’t been really frigid yet) high temperatures will start their climb next Tuesday, starting in the low 50′s and quite possibly zooming to near the 70 degree mark by the end of the week.  The Climate Prediction Center temperature outlooks show this as does as the long term “teleconnections” such as the NAO and the AO.    Even the long range weather forecast models indicate this warming as shown in this 850 mb (about 5000 feet up) graphic for Friday evening Jan 11th.  Note the warmer green and yellow shadings over the Old Dominion.

BUT…then the other shoe drops.  Notice the purple and red “dagger” of cold air pointed directly at the Mid-Atlantic states in the above graphic.  This is a chunk of the wickedly cold air that has been bottled up around the Hudson Bay area for a while, and it looks like it will break out of its confinement and plunge in our direction by the second weekend in January.

This movement of a large mass of frigid air will generate two major factors for the ‘Burg’s weather the latter half of January.  First, once the door to this cold air has been opened it probably won’t close again right away.  Thus it likely that we will see at least a couple of Arctic air invasions behind the initial one, meaning the second half of this month would be much colder than the first half.  Second, such drastic pattern changes don’t occur without a major storm system or two powered by the temperature and moisture contrasts between the warm and Arctic air masses.  Will that result in a storm that will satisfy the snow lovers in the ‘Burg?  It’s waaaaaaayyyyyy too early to call that one.

Meanwhile enjoy the quiescent weather the next several days.  And one note:  One of my New Year’s resolutions is that I’m going to (try to) standardize the weather blogposting days as Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and one weekend day.  That timing will be for “normal” weather…if things get very active that schedule will get blown out the window.