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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Bundle up…the Arctic Express has arrived

Correction: Because of an editor’s error, an earlier version of this post indicated a wind warning was in effect. In fact, the NWS has issued a wind advisory.

Wind Chill Advisory issued | Protect your pipes | School closings

The Arctic front that has plunged much of the nation into a winter deep freeze has passed through Fredericksburg and is now shouldering its way across the Eastern Shore. It may seem a bit anticlimactic for most folks around the ‘Burg in that temperatures this morning are still in the mid and upper 40s. Rest assured, though, that the thermometer has already registered its maximum for Monday and is on the way down toward the freezing mark by nightfall.

After a few more rain showers the sun will eventually make an appearance this afternoon. The wind will pick up in intensity as the cold air pours into the region with windspeeds averaging 15-20 mph today and even stronger tonight. The dropping temperatures and strong gusty winds have led the National Weather Service to issue a Wind Chill Advisory starting at midnight tonight and last through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday will be the coldest day Fredericksburg has seen for quite a while. The core of the cold air will pass overhead early tomorrow as shown in this upper air (~10,000 feet up) forecast graphic:gfsUS_700_temp_030

The white shading at this level of the atmosphere is rarely seen over any part of the United States as this “polar vortex” usually swirls around much farther north. The result for tomorrow will be temperatures that start out in the single digits and “warm” only into the teens. The extreme chill will continue Wednesday morning with a low near 10 degrees but then our roller coaster winter pattern will take over and warm things back up for the latter half of the week.

This frigid visit by frozen air from the north won’t last very long – fortunately – but it is serious enough to pay attention to. Thus bundle up later today and tomorrow, bring the pets indoors, ensure garden hoses are disconnected and drained, and take precautions to prevent freezing of water pipes. And don’t expect your car’s windshield washer fluid to stay liquid either…it’ll likely freeze if the vehicle is outside tonight. In fact if you yourself can manage to stay inside most of Tuesday that might be a good thing. It’s gonna get COLD folks!

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