Temperatures will be above normal today as the sun peaks through scattered clouds southerly winds push warmer air into the region. The birds are chirping this morning as spring tries to get going early in our region. Enjoy today, because tomorrow will be a different story.
After a miserable but warm start to Monday, skies should clear up a bit as temperatures climb into the upper 60s to lower 70s ahead of a rapidly approaching storm system. This system is expected produce plenty of severe weather across the region, with most of the concern centered on severe wind as storms line out, with some bowing segments. The storms should start moving across the Appalachians in the early afternoon, approaching the BWI/DC/RIC areas in the late afternoon or early evening. There is also some tornado and hail potential with these storms as a decent amount of thermal instability (CAPE of 500-1000 J/kg) and excellent wind shear fuel the thunderstorms. The SPC currently has a 30% severe risk (high-end Slight Risk) over most of the region, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it got bumped to a low-end Moderate Risk somewhere in the region (central/southern WV/VA and DC/MD?). Yes it’s February, but this storm is more of an April-type system for the region, and should be taken seriously. Do not let your guard down on this one.
Following the Monday storm will be a nice break in the weather as mostly sunny and seasonal weather takes over. Tuesday through Thursday should be pretty nice as we start the month of March and meteorological spring along with it. Friday will be a bit gloomier as clouds and a few rain showers pop up over the region. This will continue into Saturday as a very complicated pattern evolves over the weekend. The models begin to SUBSTANTIALLY diverge with a late weekend storm system approaching the region from the west. The GFS currently has a storm moving through Saturday night into Sunday, while the ECMWF takes a much slower and perhaps more complicated look at this system, bringing it through much later (late next Monday). Right now I would go with a chance of rain showers Saturday and Sunday, but it is probably the most complicated system I’ve seen this season (and there’s been plenty of them), so confidence is very, very low.