Showers and storms possible but a nice weekend ahead?
Today – Wednesday – the approach of an upper level low from the Ohio Valley will trigger thunderstorms in our juicy airmass (dewpoint at the UMW weather station is already a sticky 71 degrees) as a southerly surface wind continues to pump humidity northward into Fredericksburg. But after checking a couple different short term forecast models it looks like the majority of the precipitation will hold off until dinnertime with only scattered stuff popping up around the area this afternoon. Even under the clouds today’s high temperature will climb into the mid-80s with high humidity but, hey, it’s still August.
Tomorrow a surface cold front will approach from the northwest and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it actually clears the Mid-Atlantic region this time, unlike the last front that parked along the coastline and kept clouds and showers around for several days. The GFS model promises that it will pass through late Thursday night, the NAM slows it down to a Friday rendezvous, and the European model solution is somewhere in between, so the National Weather Service office in Sterling is hedging its bets and calling for Friday to be partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of storms. Meanwhile the NWS Weather Prediction Center is showing the cold front draped across Fredericksburg at 8 a.m. Friday morning:
Ahead of the cold front Thursday’s high temperature will approach the 90-degree mark.
Then…the weekend. Taking the optimistic position that the cold front will push on through I will go along with the NWS Sterling forecast for Saturday and Sunday that shows sunny conditions both days with comfortable highs in the low 80s and morning lows near 60 degrees. There is still no evidence of any long-term heat on our horizon – although a hot day or two could still crop up – so I am just about ready to dismiss the possibility of a Fredericksburg heat wave. Even though the “stickiness level” has been fairly high the temperatures this summer have been mild compared to last summer’s torrid heat and I don’t see that changing.