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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Tranquil weather will prevail for the near term

Sunshine, southerly winds, and temperatures climbing into the 80s …sound like winter is over?  The pattern has certainly shifted in that direction, which will provide Fredericksburg with a huge contrast to last week’s aberrant cold.  Today we could very well see the mercury climb to the 80 degree mark for the first time in 2013, and that level of warmth will hold through the next couple of days.  The dew points will climb also as those southerly winds pump Gulf of Mexico moisture into our region, creating the condition for some fog overnight into Tuesday morning as the air temperature drops down to match the dew point.  Keep that fog in mind if you’re out on the roads early tomorrow morning.

(Quick tutorial reminder:  dew point is the temperature to which air must be cooled to reach 100% relative humidity, i.e. a meteorological condition called “saturation.”  When the air temperature and the dew point are the same that means water vapor condenses into liquid water, creating precipitation or – in tonight’s case – fog.  Dew point is a much better description of how moist the air feels than relative humidity.)

After the fog burns off tomorrow the ‘Burg will once again bask under sunny skies and temperatures at or just above the 80 degree mark, and those conditions look to repeat again on Wednesday albeit with a few more clouds around.  Thursday and Friday we’ll have to watch an approaching cold front that could bring thunderstorms into the area.  This system is currently producing severe weather in the Plains states but it doesn’t appear it will have the same punch as it reaches our area.  Still, I’ll be keeping an eye on it as this week progresses.

Oh, and if this warm weather is creating an itch to plant stuff outside keep in mind that our last frost date isn’t until near Mother’s Day in May.  It isn’t safe to plant sensitive flowers and shrubs for a while yet.

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