I stepped out the door this morning without a jacket. It felt like Spring outside. We started this morning with temperatures in the mid-upper 60s. There were a few sprinkles and light showers, but the big weather is still to our west. It is a mess from parts of Texas to Ohio today. Not only are there areas of snow, but icing is also occurring over those parts of the country.
The big divider between the warm sultry air and the arctic blast is a cold front that stretches from New York down to Texas. The front has already made it to near the D.C. area. There will be a huge range in temperatures between the Midwest to the Southeast. Highs will be in the negatives in the Dakotas today. Our local highs will be well into the 70s.
The above graphic is what the computer models are calling for. I’m calling for highs in the mid-upper 70s in the region. The record high is 79 degrees in Norfolk. I bet we get to about 78 based off the latest trends. The cold front will move through the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, and Accomack county this afternoon This will drop the temperatures there to the low 60s and possibly the upper 50s. There will also be some scattered showers there with the front.
We will see a lot of clouds today with a few occasional breaks. There will be a few spotty showers today into the early evening throughout Hampton Roads. Winds will be southwest at 10-20mph with a few gusts up to 25mph. The latest models have the front moving very slowly southward overnight (almost stalling), then picking up speed early Saturday morning. I’m a little dubious about this. I’ve seen that cold air move in ahead of schedule many times. Especially since the temperatures are so much colder north of the front. So stay tuned for updates on that feature. If the front is on-track, then we’ll see the temperatures drop sharply before dawn. We will also have scattered showers in the morning.
The good news is that the models have backed off of the rain for Saturday afternoon. The chance for rain will be less (20-30%) during that time. The wind will pick up out of the north. They will run at 10-20mph with gusts up to 30mph. This will keep the temperatures down in the 40s for highs .
By Sunday morning there will be colder air in the region. We’ll see some rain and moisture pushing back in from the south. Our local temperatures will mostly be above freezing. However, some of our inland and northern cities will be close to the freezing mark. So there will be a potential for some iciness Sunday morning. The chance is likely from Richmond on westward. However, there is a low chance to see some freezing rain from Richmond up to the Northern Neck. This could brush some of Sussex and James City counties up through Gloucester county to Lancaster county.
It will be a big problem over towards Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville. It will also be a problem into Raleigh and Goldsboro N.C. It will be tough to really drop the temperatures though if the clouds stick around in the overnight. Which they probably will. We’ll refine that forecast in the next 24 hours.
The rain doesn’t stop there. We’ll see the rain ongoing through most of Sunday. At this time Sunday looks like a washout. Temperatures will be stuck in the 40s again. Winds will be variable. By Monday we will warm up again. Highs will be in the 60s. More rain is expected ahead of the next cold front. Then the front will move through on Tuesday. We’ll see highs back to near 40 by next Wednesday, but at least we will dry out by then.
The rain totals have really changed for the weekend. Yesterday I was talking about 1-3 inches through Sunday. Now it looks like it will be closer to 1″. This is mostly due to the lesser rain expected on Saturday. Sunday afternoon through Tuesday however, it does still look like there will be a good 1-2″ in the region.
The rain will affect holiday events in Williamsburg this weekend. The Grand Illumination may be postponed. However, the Chesapeake parade on Saturday looks fine. Hollydazzle should be fine tonight up in Newport News, but there could be some spotty showers. Hopefully, I’m wrong and the front doesn’t come through too early. The rain chances do increase towards the end of the fun either way. Temperatures will be in the upper 50s to low 60s.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one! Be safe if you are traveling west.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler