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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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A week with weather for just about everyone

Don’t like cold weather?  We’ll have a couple of days this week with above normal temperatures.  Like stormy weather?  We may see thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon/evening as a strong cold front punches through the area.  Like cold weather?  It’ll get cold again late week behind the front.  Like snow?  There could be a chance for some of that too toward next weekend.

In the meantime the current Winter Weather Advisory issued by the National Weather Service is still in effect through 10:00 a.m. as the potential for freezing rain exists.  As I mentioned in Saturday’s post a process known as “overrunning” is responsible as  a warm wedge of air noses in over top of the colder air at the surface, creating precipitation that melts in the warm air and then refreezes when it hits the cold ground.  With existing southerly winds temperatures will rise above freezing as the morning progresses and the freezing rain will convert to plain old rain.  High temperatures today look to top out in the low 40s.

Tuesday’s forecast will be a bit trickier as our old “friend” the cold air damming wedge will reassert itself over the Mid-Atlantic.  Here is the HPC’s surface map for Tuesday morning:

The blue arrow I’ve inserted over Virginia and the Carolinas indicates the presence of a surface cold air wedge that will be difficult for the warmer and less dense air approaching from the west to bulldoze out of the area.  The forecast models are all optimistically showing highs in the 60s for the ‘Burg tomorrow, but given that a similar cold air damming wedge busted the forecast for a warm weekend a couple of weeks ago – remember that? – the National Weather Service is hedging its bet for tomorrow and only calling for a high in the upper 50s.  That may even prove to be a bit too high as well, but suffice it to say tomorrow’s temperatures will be above normal for late January.

Then comes Wednesday.  It will be warmer than normal again, with a better chance at reaching the low 60s than Tuesday.  The real kicker is the approaching strong cold front that is the leading edge of more Arctic air.  As a result of the classic clash between warm moist air and cold dry air Fredericksburg could see some wild weather.  Check out the Storm Prediction Center forecast graphic for Wednesday:

A good chunk of the southeastern U.S.  including much of the Old Dominion is under a Slight Risk (yellow shading) for severe weather, and the ‘Burg actually fits under the 5% probability area (brown shading).  Thunderstorms will be possible late Wednesday afternoon into the evening hours as the cold front pounds through here.  The main threat of severe weather will be damaging wind gusts from storms associated with the front.

After the cold front temperatures will again nosedive to below normal for the ‘Burg, and the chance at some snow will again enter the picture late in the week.  But since there is plenty of weather to go through between now and then we’ll save some of that discussion for later.  Buckle up!

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