A beautiful Veterans Day weekend and then what?
It’s times like next week that I’m glad I am not a professional weather forecaster…but more on that in a bit. Today through Veterans Day Fredericksburg will see plenty of sunshine courtesy of a couple of dry Canadian air masses. Today’s measure of “nice” will be tempered by the wind, which could kick up northwesterly gusts close to 30 mph as the axis of another upper air trough passes overhead. The high today will be in the mid-50s, which is six to eight degrees below average for the 8th of November.
The winds will subside tomorrow while the temperature climbs back toward the 60-degree mark. Another dry cold front will sweep through on Sunday and the winds will increase again (although not as strong as today) under sunny skies. The high Sunday should hit 60 degrees while Monday – Veterans Day – will be near that mark with less wind and abundant sunshine. Thus out of this four-day stretch I would vote for Saturday and Monday to have the “nicest” weather given the lighter winds those days.
Now for next week and the buzz about possible white stuff. Both the GFS and European forecast models have been toying with the idea that the Mid-Atlantic (including the ‘Burg) could see some snow next week behind an abnormal early season Arctic front. For a couple of days both models were in fairly close agreement – something almost unheard of that far ahead of time – that a surface low pressure would develop off the Outer Banks and turn into a roaring nor’easter, which would dump inches of snow over Virginia.
However, as usually happens, the two models have begun to diverge over the past 24 hours as to what will actually occur. Both still agree that the Arctic front is coming and thus the middle of next week will be much colder than normal as shown in this high temperature map for Wednesday:
Last night’s European model run still shows the nor’easter off Cape Hatteras next Wednesday evening, which could dump snow over the eastern half of Virginia while the corresponding GFS run shows no storm (and thus no snow) at all. Thus when I read this morning’s forecast discussions from the three Virginia-based National Weather Service offices all of them – without exception – stated that they currently have low confidence in the forecast accuracy after Tuesday of next week.
[And for those of you who care about such things the European model was the first model that accurately predicted Hurricane Sandy's path last autumn and has been touted by some as being much more accurate than American models. However, the GFS has achieved more accuracy than the European model many times during 2013. (My head hurts now...)]
So will it snow next week? Climatologically it is waaaaay too early to expect accumulating white stuff, but then again Arctic fronts don’t usually make it this far south in November. All I can say is that accumulating snow is possible next week….but not probable. I’d bet on a cold rain with some “fuzzy” raindrops mixed in Wednesday night.