It felt more like winter today with afternoon temperatures in the 30s and 40s! We are not the only ones seeing the cold weather. Most of the country is dealing with unseasonably cold weather. Here is a map of the low temperatures recorded this morning across the country. All areas above the pink line saw temperatures below freezing this morning. This was the coldest morning across the U.S. (Lower 48) since November of 1976, which was 38 years ago!
COLD Morning Nationwide
We were above freezing in Hampton Roads this morning thanks to the strong wind. But temperatures are going to drop WELL BELOW freezing tonight, and the record low at Norfolk Airport could be in jeopardy. The high level clouds will clear out and wind speeds will come down allowing temperatures to plummet. We are forecasting lows to drop into the low to mid 20s with teens possible for inland locations. The record low temperature at Norfolk Airport is 25° set back in 1959. Here are the forecast lows.
Metro Forecast Lows
Make sure you are prepared for the winter-like temperatures overnight:
Bring the pets inside
Make sure your heater is working
Check on family, friends and the elderly
If you live in a rural/inland location where temperatures drop into the teens, it may be a good idea to drip the faucets
Make sure the kids are bundled up as they head to the bus stop tomorrow morning.
Dress in layers and cover exposed skin (gloves, scarves, hats)
Luckily Hampton Roads doesn’t look like THIS! This is a picture of the lake effect snow coming down in Buffalo. Picture credit goes to NBC News.
Snow in Buffalo, NY
Some areas near Buffalo have already seen 51 inches of snow and more is on the way. Some places could see 5-6 feet of snow before all is said and done.
It felt like Spring for a bit yesterday with the warm/humid conditions around. We even had a couple of waterspouts pop out of some thunderstorms (Severe Blog). Then… as advertised…yesterday’s warmth was replaced by a much colder air mass. During yesterday afternoon temperatures rose to the low 70s across most of the region. Then the front came through, and we’ve been dropping ever since. Here is a good example. Look at Suffolk’s temperatures for the past 14 hours:
Many temperatures this morning were in the 30s. Winds were from the northwest at 10-15mph. This allowed the cold air to pour into the region.
Wind chills were even in the 20s in several cites. As high pressure builds in today, the winds will stay up out of the northwest.
We’ll see mostly to partly sunny skies and highs will be in the upper 30s to low 40s this afternoon. Technically we already hit the highs for the day right after midnight, but the afternoon temps will be cold. Tonight skies will clear and winds will lighten up. Temps will be dropping into the mid-upper 20s with a few teens inland. If you are in some rural/inland locations, then you may want to drip the faucets tonight. It’s waayyy too early to be doing it, but hey.
Forecast Low Temps
Tomorrow we’ll have sunshine, but temps won’t climb much. We’ll top out near 40 degrees. We’ll warm up a bit on Thursday (low 50s). Then another cold front will move through and drop us to the 40s on Friday. We’ll get back to some 60s by Sunday, but rain showers will move into the region.
It was a busy afternoon in the Super Doppler 10 Weather Center. We only saw a couple of storms, but one of them did produce a waterspout. Don and I were watching this one storm rapidly develop over Norfolk just before 4 PM. We noticed it was showing signs of broad rotation. We did have plenty of shear in the atmosphere. The storm really strengthened over the Chesapeake Bay. The Department of Highways at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel reported 2 waterspouts near the First Island at 4:08 PM. This is what the radar looked like at that time. Notice the notch just to the north of the Norfolk label. This is likely where the waterspout developed.
4:10 PM Radar Image – Waterspout Developing
Dustin Wyatt sent this picture to firstname.lastname@example.org of the waterspout while traveling on the CBBT.
Dawn sent in a picture of hail just east of NAS Norfolk. This hail came from the same storm that produced the waterspout over the Chesapeake Bay.
The tornado watch that was issued for North Carolina has expired and the severe weather threat is winding down. The sun has set, so we are losing any instability that we had earlier this evening. However, rain is still possible for the next few hours. Our latest Future Trak model is doing a good job with the rain out there now, so I trust its solution. Here is what we can expect at 8 PM. Heaviest rain is offshore, but a few light showers are still possible.
Future Trak at 8 PM
All the rain should come to an end before midnight. Then the COLD air arrives! Temperatures will drop into the lower 30s by Tuesday morning and highs will only rise into the upper 30s by the afternoon.
That is about 30-35 degrees colder than the 70s we saw today. Winds will be strong out of the northwest at 10-20mph, so it will feel even colder. Near record lows will be possible Wednesday morning as lows drop into the lower 20s with teens inland. Record low for Norfolk Airport is 25° set back in 1959. Stay warm everyone!
We have had some clearing over the region, and this has increased the instability. The models had some clearing earlier this morning, but not this much. Temps are already warming to the 70s from northeast North Carolina up to the Southside.
I looked at the parameters for severe weather. Nothing is off the charts, but there is a decent amount of helicity (spin with height) in the atmosphere. Instability (storm potential) is increasing with the sunshine, and the upper level wind support (wind shear) is also decent. So we’ll be on the lookout for some isolated severe weather this afternoon into the evening.
There were some heavy rain showers around midday, but there actually weren’t too many thunderstorms. The storms are likely to increase in coverage through the afternoon into the early evening hours. Here’s what I have for the rain chances for the rest of the day:
There is a wider area of rain to our west. As that gets closer then it should put a cap on temperatures.
Super Doppler 10
The cold front is expected this evening between 5 and 8 pm. We’ll see a line of showers and gusty winds during that time. Winds will turn from the south to out of the northwest as the front moves through.
Future Trak (5pm)
Then the cold air arrives. We’ll clear out by midnight. Then temps will drop to the upper 30s. Despite sunshine tomorrow we’ll only rise a couple of degrees during the afternoon. Highs will be in the upper 30s to near 40. I have more on the cold weather in the previous blog.
(Update: there is a tornado watch up for northeast North Carolina through the evening as there has been some clearing there and heating. Keep an eye to the sky today).
I tried to think of a great way to describe the upcoming weather that we are going to see in the region. I love to personify it, but I’ve been running out of original ideas. So instead of tackling the weather part of it, I’ve decided to create a new thing! The super coat. It will be like those sunglasses that change when the light changes. Maybe something like Marty Mcfly’s coat in Back to the Future 2. Yep…A new coat that keeps you warm when it’s cold and mild when it’s cool. It could have pullover layers. Kind of like bowhunters gloves. Maybe a solar cell layer that adds a heating element. Maybe it can change to lighter colors when it gets warmer out and turn darker when it’s frigid. Clothiers…there you go. Make it happen. Idea is free of charge.
Ahem, so anyway to my point about weather…There’s been a big up and down trend in temperatures lately. We continue with that…So today we are going to be very warm, and tomorrow we’ll be very cold. A warm front was moving into the region this morning.
Some moisture moved in ahead of the front and caused scattered fog and isolated showers. The rain will pick up later today as a powerful cold front approaches from the west.
Strong southerly winds and the warm front will lift temperatures into the low 70s this afternoon. This will be despite ample clouds and scattered showers. The warmth will help to create some instability. So as we get into the late afternoon/early evening we’ll see some thunderstorms. Some storms may be strong with gusty winds over 30mph being the main threat. This is the forecast from Future Trak at 5pm:
Future Trak (5pm)
The front will move through Hampton Roads between 6 and 8pm. At least that’s the latest forecast, but it may have to get tweaked around midday. The drier weather will get here before the really cold air. So we aren’t expecting any snow tonight. Rain should end by midnight. Then temps will drop to the upper 30s by tomorrow morning. We’ll have partly cloudy skies Tuesday, but there will also be some breezy northwest winds. They will run at 10-15mph with a few higher gusts. So temperatures will be stuck. They will only rise a couple degrees to the upper 30s to near 40. Wind chills will be near 30 in the morning and low 30s in the afternoon. Brrr. High pressure will build in tomorrow and will settle the winds by tomorrow night. This will set us up for the coldest air of the season so far. Forecast lows will be in the the mid 20s for Wednesday morning. That means that inland temperatures will probably be in the teens, and it means that some cities near the shore will finally get their first freeze. Jan in Reedville says that she still hasn’t had a frost yet. We won’t warm up much Wednesday afternoon. Highs will be near 40 with sunshine. We will warm up a bit Thursday into Friday, but not much. Highs will be in the 50s. Then we’ll see more chilly air on Saturday. Highs will be in the 40s. It looks like we’ll see a warmer weather pattern next week. Course things could change before then. Either way I say….It’s time for SUUUUUUPER COAT.
Get ready for 2 rounds of rain and then much colder weather! First round is tonight and the second round will arrive tomorrow. The rain has already pushed into Hampton Roads tonight thanks to a weak area of low pressure offshore.
This low will move northeast tonight, so the rain will increase in coverage. Showers should gradually taper off after midnight.
The cold front located across Alabama and Louisiana is the same cold front that will move into Virginia and North Carolina tomorrow evening. So we are seeing the first round of rain tonight. Then round two moves in Monday afternoon.
Monday morning is going to start off cloudy and chilly with temperatures hovering in the mid to upper 40s. It will not be nearly as cold as this weekend when temperatures were in the 20s and 30s during the early morning hours.
Future Trak at 7 AM Monday
The morning commute should be just fine, but the evening commute could be messy. A line of showers and isolated storms should develop out ahead of the cold front at 3 PM. Southwesterly winds running between 15-25mph will boost high temperatures in the lower 70s. That is about 20 degrees warmer than today! Humidity levels will be higher too.
Future Trak at 3 PM
The line of rain will continue to move east, so the rain will be hit or miss during your evening commute. Best chances for rain tomorrow will be between 3-8 PM.
Future Trak at 6 PM
Cold front will move into the metro area anytime between 7-10 PM. Once the cold front moves in, colder and drier air will move into the region. All rain should come to an end before midnight. Temperatures will drop into the 30s by Tuesday morning and highs Tuesday afternoon will only be in the upper 30s! That is after seeing highs in the lower 70s on Monday. So high temperatures will drop 30° or more over a 24-hour period. Wow!
And then it gets colder! Near record cold is expected Wednesday morning as lows drop into the lower 20s with teens possible inland. The record low for Norfolk Airport Wednesday morning is 25° set back in 1959. The cold weather sticks around on Wednesday as highs only rise to around 40°.
*This upcoming cold blast is going to be stronger than the one we saw this weekend. Make sure your are prepared!
Bring pets inside
Dress in layers and cover exposed skin (gloves, hats, scarves)
We had temperatures drop to 19 degrees this morning across our area. Both the towns of Zuni and Franklin had a cold morning. The previous unofficial record for Franklin was 26 degrees set in 1950. (Official records are only kept for Norfolk, Elizabeth City, and Wallops Island) Other areas had lows in the 20s.
A Cold Morning
As we go through the day, we should see sunny skies and temperatures making their climb to the mid-40s this afternoon. High pressure will stay in control today. Tomorrow it will begin to fade as a new storm system develops off of our coast into Monday.
Rain On Monday
With both of those areas of low pressure across the USA, that will allow from a strong northwest wind to redevelop. That will pull in another blast of colder temperatures arriving on Tuesday and Wednesday. For both days, highs will be near 42 degrees with lows in the mid-20s.
Yesterday, I mentioned that if the moisture could linger a little longer this morning, then we could see some sleet or snow mixing in with the rain showers. Well…it happened. This morning we have numerous reports of sleet mixing in with the light rain showers.
Radar This Morning
Luckily the surface and ground temperatures were well above freezing. So anything frozen that fell had melted. We were in the upper 30s to low 40s with a few mid 30s north of the metro. Remember while it’s above freezing near the surface, it’s below freezing a couple thousand feet up in the atmosphere. So that’s how sleet was able to form. Through the day we’ll have clearing skies. However, we’ll see strong winds from the north at 10-20mph and gusts up to 25mph. So despite the clearing we’ll only top out in the mid 40s for highs today. The average high is 62 degrees. Wow! Basically the cold front that stalled out offshore is finally making a push east again. High pressure is building east. So the cold air is resuming its eastward march.
Tonight the winds will letup and skies will clear out. It’s a recipe for freezing conditions in the region. In fact we’ll see freezing conditions even to near the coast tonight. There are freeze warnings for some cities. I won’t give them as they’ll update through the day, but you can find them here: National Weather Service warnings/advisories.
The lows tonight will be in the 20s inland with low 30s even near the shore. Probably a few 40s right along the shore, but that’s within a half mile.
Forecast Low Temps
Tomorrow we’ll see a fair amount of sunshine as high pressure settles into the coastal states. but with the north winds at 8-12mph, temps will still only be in the mid 40s. We’ll warm it up on Sunday into the low/mid 50s. We’ll see some clouds building into the region. Then Sunday night into Monday we’ll have widespread rain showers. At least the highs will rise up to near 60. This will be ahead of the next cold front. Behind that front high temps will once again be in the 40s for Tuesday into Wednesday. This could be a very long Winter….
I’d say that the cooler air has already moved into the region, but the cold air is still on the way. Yesterday was nice and warm. The whole region topped out in the low/mid 70s. It was a bit cooler along the coast. Clouds rolled in last night, and that actually stopped the temperatures from falling too much. So lows were in the 50s over most of the metro with 40s inland and north. At least we didn’t have any fog to track this morning. So that was a nice change.
Today the cold front that moved into the region is stalling out to our south. A weak area of low pressure is forming and is moving north along the front.
Stalled Out Front
This is stopping the really cold air from surging in already. The cold surge is briefly paused, but it’s not far away. Look at the forecast (model) high temps for today:
Forecast High Temps
I wanted to point out that these are model-based because we are likely to get more into the mid 50s since we stared near 50. As we go through the day we’ll develop some scattered showers. We might see a few sprinkles this morning, but we’ll see scattered rain showers this afternoon and evening. Here is Future Trak 3 pm:
Future Trak (3pm)
The rain looks to increase by the evening commute. In fact…we might see some spots of heavy rain between 4 and 7 pm.
Future Trak (5pm)
The rain will taper off by 9pm. Overnight the colder air will start to surge into the region. The showers may come back for a bit as a 2nd cold surge moves into the region. The showers should wrap up by 2-3am. However, if the moisture lingers a bit longer, then some sleet pellets or a few wet snowflakes could mix-in. Surface air temperatures would be above freezing and ground temps are well above freezing. So no problems are expected. The higher chance for any mix would be towards the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck, and/or Accomack county on the Eastern Shore. Low temps will drop to the 30s across the region tonight.
Tomorrow will be colder. As the low pushes away and pulls the cold front with it, winds will pick up. Today they are northerly at 10-15mph. Tomorrow they will be out of the north at 10-20mph with a few higher gusts near the shore. Highs will only be in the mid 40s, and the wind will make it feel even colder. On Sunday we’ll see a lot of clouds, but the models have slowed the rain moving in. So mostly cloudy skies for Sunday with highs in the low 50s. Rain will move in by Sunday night and will last for most of Monday. The good thing about Monday is the temperature. Highs will rise to near 60s or even in the low 60s. We’ll be chilly again though Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
This morning I was tracking two things. First, there was some pretty thick fog in the area. It did make for some cool camera shots. This was one from our tower cam at Windward Towers in Newport News.
Fog On Tower Cam
This was an image of the James River Bridge. You can barely make out the top of one of the cranes near the bridge. Then the fog burned off, and the sun started to pop out. It was a warm/humid morning with temps in the 60s. The strong cold front was still to our west. The weak low that brought us rain yesterday was heading farther out to sea.
Cold Front To The West
During the day we’ll see more and more sunshine. As brief high pressure moves in. This will let temps warm up to near 70 degrees. Then the front will move through this evening and will start to drop the temperatures. No rain is expected with the front. We’ll be mostly clear tonight and chilly. We’ll start in the 40s Thursday morning, but will only rise to the low 50s during the afternoon. A weak upper level disturbance and a weak low offshore low will help to create some scattered showers by Thursday afternoon. Here is what Future Trak shows for 3pm tomorrow.
Future Trak 3pm Thu.
The showers will continue into the evening, but should push out by Friday. The models have backed off of the snowflakes at the end of the precipitation. I still won’t rule it out, but I still think it would only be a few melting flakes on the tail-end early Friday morning if any fall at all. We’ll dry out through Friday. Highs will only be in the mid 40s. We’ll see lows in the 20s/30s Saturday morning. Then highs will be in the mid 40s with partly cloudy skies. We’ll rise to the 50s by Sunday, but some rain showers will move back into the picture.