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Frigid temperatures will ease off soon

For Fredericksburg yesterday’s snowfall totals pretty much followed the final forecast with 1-2 inches in the I-95 vicinity and higher totals over the Northern Neck. (Dahlgren, for instance, recorded 4 inches.) The reason an update was necessary to the original snowfall forecast of less than an inch was that an upper level system out of Colorado was a bit stronger than the models predicted. This system helped “pull” the coastal storm slightly northwest from the original forecast path and created the need for the Winter Weather Advisories posted for the ‘Burg and surrounding counties.

This morning’s low temperature at the UMW weather station was a bone-chilling 4 degrees and the high today will only reach the mid-20s despite strong sunshine. Thus secondary roads and sidewalks will not see a lot of melting today. With another low temperature in the single digits Thursday morning refreezing will be the order of business overnight.

Take heart, however, since warmer conditions are on the way as the large scale weather pattern changes. Check out this forecast surface map for 7 a.m. Thursday morning:96fndfd

Note the precipitation shading over northern California…that represents a BIG change from recent months. A stubborn high pressure ridge has been parked over the West Coast for quite a while, steering weather systems northward into Alaska and western Canada. This is supposed to be the rainy season for California but instead those folks have been suffering under extreme drought conditions (hence the many reports of fires out that way). The precipitation shown above indicates the ridge has broken down, thus allowing systems to cross the nation from west to east instead of north to south.

What does that mean for Fredericksburg? Temperatures will moderate as we enter February, more closely matching average highs and lows instead of the extremes we have been experiencing. After one more chilly day Thursday – with highs in the low 30s – the weather will seem more like a Virginia winter rather than more northern climes.

 

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