The main story for this week is the changeover to mild, spring-like conditions throughout the region as an upper-level ridge builds over the Southeast and advects warmer air up from the south and west. Valentine’s Day celebrators will notice a bit of a difference between tomorrow and last Valentine’s Day, which featured highs in the lower 40s, mostly sunny skies, gusty winds and two feet of snow on the ground. This year should have just a little snow, with highs in the upper 50s (could we get a 60F high at DCA?), mostly sunny skies and gusty winds. Well, alright, it’s not that dissimilar to last year, but I’ll certainly take upper 50s over lower 40s.
Temperatures will stay in the above normal category through most of the week, with Thursday and Friday peaking in the 60s throughout the region. So what’s going on while we have these warm temperatures? We’ll be talking about Sun, Sun, and more Sun this week, with a couple of weak and mostly inconsequential cold fronts passing through. The first cold front will move through Monday night, with the other coming though Friday night. It’s looking like the western Appalachians and PA should see some light rain from both of these fronts, but the downsloping surface winds could keep the leeward side of the mountains mostly dry. The models seem to like this idea, but I wouldn’t rule out a stray shower or two on Valentine’s Day or on Friday east of the mountains.
Once the weekend hits, the region will get knocked back down to near normal (or slightly above normal) temperatures as the dry conditions persist. However, enjoy this week as much as you can because we could be looking at a shift in the pattern next week as storm systems try to erode the upper-level ridge in the Southeast.