Enjoy Spring While You can!March 21st, 2014 at 9:09 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
The short term forecast is full of good news. We had great weather yesterday with highs in the 60s. We’ll see more nice weather today with highs in the 60s again. Temps this morning were chilly in the 30s. So there will be a big rise in temps through the afternoon. It will be about a 30+ degree rise in some cities. Winds will be light and southwest. Due to the lighter winds we may see a sea breeze kick-in and cool things down near the coast. Either way it will be nice and warm with sunshine. Enjoy it while you can.
Tomorrow A cold front will approach from the west. This will squeeze the winds and allow them to pick up out of the southwest at 10-20mph with gusts to 30mph. This will prevent any sea breezes from forming. Along with partly cloud skies, the winds will boost high temperatures into the mid 70s. So one more warm day.
However, by tomorrow evening the cold front will pass through causing some spotty showers. The cool-down will push in more towards Sunday morning well behind the front. We’ll have scattered rain showers forming again late Sunday into Sunday night. It may wrap up as a few flurries as even colder air pushes in. Then we’ll be dry and colder on Monday. Highs will only be in the mid 40s. Sound cold? Ok, then let’s talk about next Tuesday.
There’s already a lot of talk about this. Probably because some of the older models showed tons of snow for the region. They don’t show so much anymore. Here’s the setup:
The cold air mass that moves in Sunday into Monday will strengthen on Tuesday. This will create a large upper level trough over the Eastern U.S. The upper level trough will work to create an area of low pressure at the surface. The general area for this will be offshore or near the shore of South Carolina. The low will move northeast and work along the cold air mass in place. The GFS model has the upper levels cold enough for snow, but the surface temperatures are likely to be well above freezing. Especially in the afternoon. So we would probably start as a mix of rain, sleet, and snow in the region. Then by the evening the temperatures would probably drop low enough to form some snow. The snowiest area in the latest run looks like the Eastern Shore and Northern Neck, but don’t take that too literally just yet. I looked at the GFS ensembles. These use the same GFS model, but small parts of the model get tweaked about a dozen times. If the various solutions are very different, then this means there is a lot of uncertainty. This is what they are currently showing for Tuesday.
The European model has dried up quite a bit, and is farther offshore with the low. It has some light precipitation in the region which is a huge change from 2 days ago. I think this also denotes some uncertainty. There may be some light snow on the back side of the low as it pushes away from us, but it doesn’t show much. The Canadian model has the low a lot closer to the coast. While this means a warmer scenario for Hampton Roads, it also has heavier precipitation. So this could mean a band of moderately accumulating snow in some inland and northern sections of the area. That’s IF that model were to verify. Before you go out an buy bread and milk, keep this in mind… The longer range models don’t do well with the vertical temperature profiles (temps from top to bottom). The NAM model, the high-res NAM, and our Future Trak model will have a better handle on that as the system gets closer in time. My guess is that most of the surface temperatures will be well above freezing for most of the period. Especially, if we have a strong northeast wind. Also, with the high March sun angle, that could allow us to warm up more than the models show. We’ll have to see which way the track of the low trends on upcoming models. Don’t rule out snow due to the calendar though. There is a very unseasonably cold air mass coming out of the Midwest. Again, I have no doubt that it will be colder in the region from Monday through Wednesday. We will warm up later in the week. Stay tuned for this developing weather. We’ll be tracking it over the weekend.
Until then…enjoy the warmth. Enjoy the sunshine. Have fun. Carpe Diem and have a good weekend!
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler