Last half of October to cool off considerably
The approach of another cold front from the west will act as an atmospheric “pump” to push relatively warm and moist air northward into the Fredericksburg area today, evidenced by both the 8 a.m. temperature and dewpoint measured at 60 degrees at the UMW weather station. (Fog, anyone?) Even though today’s skies will be mostly cloudy the high this afternoon will touch the mid-70s in most spots around Fredericksburg. The rain associated with this next front will hold off, however, as the forward progress of the system slows while a surface low pressure forms along it in response to a short wave trough in the upper levels interacting with the boundary.
That low pressure center will dump most of its moisture over the mountains so our total precipitation from this event will amount to only roughly 0.1 inch, most of which will occur Thursday afternoon and evening. The front itself will pass across the I-95 corridor just before midnight Thursday. Here is the Weather Prediction Center’s surface forecast graphic for 8 a.m. Friday:
Note that the front is pushing off the East Coast, but also note that another front is swooping across the Great Lakes and Plains states. That boundary is the leading indication of a pattern change, which will usher in cooler temperatures for the latter half of this month. This Climate Prediction Center graphic illustrates that change:
The blue shades indicate cooler than average temperatures over most of the lower 48 states while Alaska is showing warmer than normal red shading. That is indicative of the “see-saw” effect of a pattern change in which the cool air that has been lurking to our north and west spills in our direction while the folks in our 49th state get a brief reprieve from the cooler air. Thus the ‘Burg can expect more autumn-like conditions with dryer and windier conditions for the next week to 10 days.
The upcoming weekend looks generally sunny and cool with high temperatures in the mid-60s and morning lows in the low to mid-40s. Given that the winds will pick up behind these fronts you may want to drag out the windbreakers and sweaters when you head outside to check out the changing leaf colors or participate in outdoor events around the area. If you have been waiting for autumn-like weather it is on the way. Enjoy!