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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Cold front on the doorstep

UPDATE (12:53 p.m.): Tornado Watch canceled for Fredericksburg

UPDATE: Tornado warning expires, but watch remains active through 5 p.m.

UPDATE: Tornado Warnings issued for Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford through noon.

UPDATE: A Tornado Watch has been issued for the Fredericksburg region through 5 p.m.

FORECAST: See the latest immediate forecast, warnings and watches.

At this writing the strong cold front that has been marching across the nation the past few days is approaching the I-81 corridor with showers and thunderstorms pushing out ahead of it. Given the moist air being pumped northward ahead of the front the precipitable water parameter (PWATS in weather parlance) will climb to the 2 inch mark this morning in the Fredericksburg area.  What that means is plenty of rainfall for the ‘Burg and vicinity with at least an inch of rain forecast to fall today, but in areas that see a heavier thunderstorm that total could be a bit higher.  After some possible earlier showers the heavy rain looks to begin along the I-95 corridor around 10 a.m.

Speaking of thunderstorms the energy provided by this front and the abundant moisture has also raised the possibility of severe weather near the lunch hour in Fredericksburg.  There isn’t much instability available but there is plenty of wind shear (change of wind direction and speed with height) so the Storm Prediction Center has given notice that strong to severe winds and even a possible tornado or two are possible in northern Virginia.  The likelihood is not high but it is possible so please stay tuned to media weather sources to keep abreast of any such developments.    In fact this radar grab shows a severe thunderstorm warning (the yellow polygon) already has been issued for the western DC suburbs:

The rain and skies will clear out after dinner tonight and tomorrow will bring more beautiful autumn weather.  After a rather muggy high in the mid-70s today Tuesday will have much dryer air and a high temperature near the 70 degree mark.  The rest of the week doesn’t look as pleasant as it did in earlier forecast model runs as a coastal storm looks to bring more clouds than sun Wednesday and Thursday along with more rain and temperatures in the mid- and upper 60s.

Autumn is back…probably (fingers crossed) for good this time!