A cool start to a cool week
This morning’s low temperature at the University of Mary Washington’s weather station dropped to a chilly 35 degrees, which was the same minimum recorded at the Stafford Regional Airport (Shannon Airport dropped to “only” 38 degrees). Such temperatures are a harbinger of what is to come as this week progresses. One factor in the current weather pattern shift that we are experiencing is the remnant of the powerful typhoon Wipha that created havoc in Japan last week. Here is a series of three satellite images of that storm, with the third panel showing it just offshore of Japan last Tuesday (10/15):
The storm transitioned into an extratropical cyclone and continued across the Pacific, slamming into Alaska and acting as an atmospheric “lever” to force the cold air out of that region. That dislodged cold air is what has invaded our area over the past couple of days and will continue to be reinforced as this week progresses.
Meanwhile, today the abundant sunshine will warm things up into the mid and upper 60s around the area under light southerly winds. Tuesday will feature yet another approaching cold front that will bring some cloudiness but will actually pass through Fredericksburg before lunchtime tomorrow as a dry event.
The rainfall will be delayed until Tuesday night into Wednesday as a “wrinkle” forms a surface low pressure along this front and drops up to a half-inch of rainfall overnight per the NWS Sterling forecast office. [Sterling is more bullish with their forecast rain totals than the Weather Prediction Center, (WPC) which leans toward much less moisture, perhaps a tenth of an inch. I agree with Sterling's numbers for this event.]
Here’s the WPC forecast surface map for 8 p.m. Tuesday:
Note the complex of systems clustered around the East Coast tomorrow evening. The front that passed through Fredericksburg over the weekend is shown off the coast while the next front is just east of the city with the associated surface low (red “L”) over western North Carolina. Yet a third front is lurking to the west with its surface low – an “Alberta clipper” – perched near St. Louis. That last system will leave behind even colder air for the last half of this week as high temperatures will struggle to reach the low 50s Thursday and Friday. Those are temperatures usually associated with November around Fredericksburg.
So enjoy today’s sunshine and pleasant temperatures…this is likely to be the warmest day this week!