A little bit of this and a little bit of that
If you’re a fan of varying types of weather, the next 24 hours will be right up your alley. Today will feature sunshine with a high in the mid-30s before clouds move in ahead of the next system. This next storm will be the last in a series of upper-level, short-wave troughs that have been rolling through our area like freight train cars. The associated surface map for just after midnight tonight is shown below:
Several features on this map are of interest to Fredericksburg. First, a low-pressure system (the surface reflection of the upper-air system) located over West Virginia will create conditions for a mixed bag of precipitation late tonight into tomorrow morning. The city and surrounding regions will see various mixtures of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain that will complicate the Tuesday morning commute back to work. NWS Sterling is predicting perhaps an inch of total accumulation of frozen stuff.
Secondly, note that this low-pressure system has a cold front associated with it…but this front is NOT another Arctic front. Instead it is the leading edge of milder air from the Pacific that has crossed the nation ushering in relatively warm air behind it. That will allow temperatures Tuesday to “soar” into the low to mid-50s around the area, helping to deice the roads and accelerate the melting process for the snow left over from last week.
Third, note the west-to-east oriented frontal boundary way up in western Canada. That is where the cold Arctic air is now lurking, locked up well north of the U.S. border for the remainder of this week. For those of you who are mourning the approach of winter’s end rest assured that this colder air will make a triumphant return next week. Meanwhile, the rest of you can bask in this week’s relative warmth during which the ‘Burg will actually see temperatures a bit above normal for a change.