Light Rain Today. Wintry Mix Sunday Eve?

February 16th, 2012 at 9:18 am by under Weather

We have a lot of clouds and moisture in today’s forecast.  We’ve seen a few spotty showers/sprinkles this morning, but the higher chance for rain comes this afternoon.  A lot of this is caused by the warmer/more moist air pushing over or overrunning the cooler air in place across our region.  A warm front will try and lift north, but it isn’t expected to move through until the evening.  If we didn’t have such thick cloud cover and a high coverage of light rain later today, then we would probably max out temperatures in the low/mid 60s.  Highs should stay capped in the upper 50s this afternoon. 

Today's Weather Map

 Dry air will push in aloft this evening and end the rain.  The cold front (above map) will push through overnight, and will work to cool us down a bit tomorrow.  Expect lots of sunshine and highs in the low 50s for Friday.  It will be a great start to the weekend.  Saturday should be nice with partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 50s.  Then there’s Sunday……….

The models have been all over the place with the system on Sunday.  Before they had the low way offshore, then they started putting it right through our region.  Either way this will be a different animal compared to the last system that moved through.  That was an upper level trough with the low about a thousand miles away.  This time the low will be near or in the region before pushing offshore.  There will not be a cold air feed as the low is double stacked (2 lows with one on top of or north of the other).  So most if not all of the event will be rain.  However, the models do predict some cold air moving in as the system pushes away and blows up offshore. 

The GFS model’s most recent update has the low moving through North Carolina and rapidly strengthens it by Sunday afternoon.  It does have rain changing to snow from Richmond northward through the evening.  Some lingering moisture and the upper level trough swings through Sunday night.  As that happens we would get a changeover here from rain showers to snow showers.  I used my weather tool (Bufkit), and it shows about a half inch in the region (mostly on grass) Sunday night.  More snow would probably fall from the Middle Peninsula over to the Eastern Shore if that model were to pan out though.  The European model has a weaker low offshore.  It has been fairly consistent.  It has a light strip of snow moving through Sunday evening and then drying out around midnight.  The amounts aren’t impressive, but it does put higher amounts over on the Eastern Shore. (1-1.5″ estimated).  The Canadian model has a lot of snow for northern and western Virginia, but we would mostly be in a cold rain through the day.  As the system pushes away it also has a transition to snow, but brief.  Like the European it shows higher amounts on the Eastern Shore as it is closer to the offshore low.  I wouldn’t say that the models have locked-on to a solution, but they are trending in the same direction.  A lot of times they overestimate the moisture on the backside of a departing low, but since they all show it then we’ll need to watch it closely.  We’ll try and get an afternoon update in later today if there are any significant changes.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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