The Fifties are coming, the Fifties are coming
The blogpost title of course refers to the high temperature for today and the rest of this week as cold Canadian air plunges southward into the Fredericksburg area. A long wave trough is passing overhead today and will hold sway over the East Coast for a few days as it shoves the door open for cold air via northwesterly breezes. Showers now lurking over West Virginia – courtesy of an upper level low known as an “Alberta Clipper” – will cross the I-95 corridor by mid-afternoon, after which the skies will clear this evening. Given this wind direction and residual low level moisture there will be light snow over the far western Virginia mountains the next couple of days so winter weather isn’t far away geographically.
In and around the ‘Burg it won’t be quite that exciting for winter lovers but the temperatures will be well below normal for late October. The high temperatures today through Saturday will be in the low to mid-50′s while morning lows will dip into the lower 30′s. Thus any outdoor plants that are sensitive to frost or freezing will need some tender loving care if they are to survive much longer this autumn. Temperatures will warm back up into the 60′s by Sunday as the upper level trough moves out over the Atlantic, and after that the Climate Prediction Center thinks we’ll stay close to normal temperatures through the first few days of November as shown in this graphic:
The unusually quiet Atlantic hurricane season is waning although it doesn’t officially end until November 30th. The only active system at the moment is Tropical Storm Lorenzo which is spinning around way out over the Atlantic as a “fish storm”. The eastern U.S. has been spared a direct hit from a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) for several years now and we shouldn’t get complacent. [Note: Even though Sandy and its remnant nor'easter created misery and havoc last October along the NJ/NY coastline it only reached Category 1 status before landfall. What if it had been a Category 3 or 4?]
So drag out the jackets and sweaters especially for kids that brave the morning chill at the bus stop, but don’t stow away the light jackets just yet. And a quick peek ahead at the long range models hints that there could be a major Eastern U.S. storm late next week. It’s too early for details just yet but strong weather systems typically accompany autumn clashes of warm and cool air. Stay tuned…