Another winter event, another near miss
That has become a familiar refrain this winter as storm after storm has just missed the ‘Burg with significant snowfall. The upcoming system will follow that same pattern as a weak surface low pressure drifts northward up the southeastern U.S. states while yet another short wave trough races in from the west to link up (“phase”) with it. That phasing will occur after the entire thing moves past Fredericksburg and vicinity, too late to significantly impact us with winter weather. The NWS Sterling forecast calls for rain this afternoon and evening until the storm emerges off the coast when cold air will surge in behind it in time to force a little snowfall during the wee hours of Thursday morning. Neither the Sterling office nor the HPC folks hold out much hope for accumulations as shown in this graphic, which indicates only a 10-20% probability of an inch or more of snow for the ‘Burg:
Thursday – Valentine’s Day! – looks to be mostly sunny with highs in the low 50s (F) while clouds move back in on Friday ahead of another quick-moving Arctic air intrusion. Thus Friday’s high temperature will top out in the mid-50s while behind the approaching cold front the weekend highs will nosedive to the mid-40s on Saturday and the upper 30s for Sunday. This next cold front doesn’t appear to have a lot of moisture associated with it so the snow potential will again be limited, but we’ll all keep an eye on next week when a couple more cold air blasts swoop into our area accompanied by much more moisture.
A bit of continuing good news is that this year has been moist enough that most of the dry conditions in the Old Dominion have been alleviated. As of last Tuesday – when the latest map was generated – only 16% of the state was listed as “abnormally dry” or worse. That compares to a figure of 63% recorded on January 1st, only six weeks ago. Whether rain or snow Virginia needs its winter precipitation!