A brief warm interlude before more cold air arrives
The surface low pressure system that overlaid Virginia with low clouds and much needed rain yesterday will continue to move northeast today into New England, allowing some warmer and dryer air to creep northward into the Fredericksburg area on southwesterly winds. Thus today’s high temperature could broach the 60 degree mark under at least partly sunny skies…but I wouldn’t put away the winter jackets just yet. There is still an upper level low spinning to our northwest that will drag a cold front through sometime tonight.
Behind the front a long wave trough will set up over the East Coast once again and open the floodgates for cold air to dive well southward into the Gulf of Mexico, which is rather unusual this late in the winter. To illustrate take a look at this forecast surface map for Sunday morning:
You can see the tail end of the cold front bisecting Cuba while a surface high pressure center is over Brownsville, Texas, allowing the cold air – represented by the crude blue arrow I inserted – to reign supreme over the eastern half of the nation. Thus our temperatures for the next several days will average 8-10 degrees below normal, and a couple of reinforcing surges of cold air will likely keep the northwest wind machine jazzed up enough to make it feel more like mid-January rather than the beginning of March.
The good news for sun lovers is that once we get past tomorrow there looks to be more sun than clouds each day into early next week. High temperatures will hang in the low to mid-40s during the upcoming period so those winter jackets may feel pretty good. Then as the trough begins to slide off the East Coast during the middle of next week there could be something interesting on the horizon…but I’m not jumping on THAT bandwagon just yet.