Ice this morning to thunderstorms tomorrow
And you thought this winter couldn’t get any crazier! This morning’s icy roads have once again wreaked havoc with school schedules. The warm air will eventually scour out the subfreezing surface temperatures later this morning but this winter’s reign over school calendars has been reinforced once again. And then, to add insult to injury, tomorrow will bring a chance of spring-like thunderstorms as shown in this Storm Prediction Center graphic:
The culprit for this morning’s freezing rain is yet another manifestation of our “favorite” (NOT!) weather condition known as the cold air damming wedge. High pressure off the coast of New England is forcing a shallow layer of cold moist air southward across the Piedmont and coastal plain. The lighter warm air from the south is being forced up and over this thin cold layer and the resulting liquid rain is falling onto subfreezing surfaces and glazing roads, sidewalks, and bridges with ice.
The rain will continue today, tonight, and tomorrow until a cold front pushes across the region Saturday night. Until then a substantial amount of rain could fall as shown in this precipitation potential graphic from the Weather Prediction Center:The stripe of red across King George county signifies over 2.5 inches of liquid stuff falling between now and Sunday morning, with close to 2 inches indicated over the ‘Burg. If thunderstorms do form tomorrow localized areas could see some minor flooding under heavy rainfall rates.
This latest cold front will usher in air mainly from the Pacific Ocean rather than the Arctic air we have seen recently so temperatures this weekend into early next week will moderate. After a high in the low 40s today the next several days will feature the thermometer rising into the 50s with a spike into the 60s Saturday ahead of the cold front. Our rollercoaster winter continues!