Wet and cold weather this week, but could warm weather be on the way?
Although the forecast for today (Monday) shows a lot of sunshine a quick peek at the satellite view reveals high clouds streaming in this direction ahead of the next storm system. Those clouds shouldn’t affect today’s high temperature forecast for the low 50′s (F) and the associated precipitation doesn’t look to reach the ‘Burg until sometime early Tuesday morning. A surface high pressure system over New England will once again wedge cold air down the East Coast in front of the approaching moisture to create a potential wintry mess, but this time the accumulation zone will be along the I-81 corridor in western Virginia instead of our typical I-95 dance with the rain/snow/ice line. Having said that the ‘Burg could still see a period of sleet Tuesday morning but it doesn’t look like it will accumulate before everything changes over to all rain.
The overall system – surface and upper air lows – will then take its sweet time clearing out of our area and thus will keep clouds and intermittent showers around through late Thursday. With perhaps a few glimpses of the sun on Wednesday afternoon the high temperature that day may reach the upper 50′s, but highs Tuesday and Thursday will only reach the upper 40′s. Total rainfall through Wednesday could reach the half-inch mark.
Friday – March 1st – ushers in meteorological spring with sunshine and highs in the mid-40′s, which is actually a few degrees below normal due to the deep trough that will develop behind the next storm system and open the door for another cold Canadian air invasion. The average high temperature in Fredericksburg at the beginning of March is just over 50 degrees and by month’s end that rises to the low 60′s. Given that information now check out this Climate Prediction Center temperature probability graphic for the first week of March:
The cold blue shades show the effects of the deep trough headed our way, meaning the first week of March will be much colder than average. In fact the high temperatures next weekend look to be about 10 degrees below normal.
And now for the rest of the story. Check out this next Climate Prediction Center temperature graphic for the overall month of March:
Note the warm brown shades over the eastern half of the nation. Now let’s apply some logic to the situation. If the first week in March is to be significantly cooler than average (per the first graphic) and the overall month of March is to be somewhat warmer than average (per the second graphic), the logical conclusion is that after we get past the first week of the month the remainder of March has to be much warmer than average to make up for the cold start. So if the weather behaves logically the chilly temperatures should only last for another 10 days or so before a big warmup occurs…but who expects our weather to be logical?