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mid-atlantic weekly forecast

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Dec 19-26)

The forecast is almost a repeat of last week for the region, with continued cold, snow in the mountains on Tuesday and maybe some light snow east of the mountains, and coastal system potential towards the weekend.

Temperatures won’t be as brutally cold this week as it was last week, but we can expect to see temperatures about five degrees below normal through most of the week. A weakening low pressure system will move into the region from the Midwest Tuesday into early Wednesday, which is expected to bring snowfall to the windward side of the Appalachians. Along the coast, we might see some snow flurries Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, but accumulating snow is not expected (though some accumulation in the northern parts of the region is possible).

Late Christmas Eve and through Christmas Day (Fri-Sat), the region could be subject to a large snow storm. At this point in time, I am about 50% confident on a coastal storm this weekend. The snow is expected to start off ahead of the system as it glides in from the Midwest and tracks off the coast. After reaching the Atlantic, this system will rapidly intensify, causing snow to wrap around the storm center and enter the region from the northeast. The confidence in this system is a bit higher because of the good model agreement we have been seeing over the past day or two as the GFS model consistently forecasts a coastal storm. Despite this, we could still run into the same problem we saw with this weekend’s system that ended up out to sea. A more progressive and less amplified pattern would allow the storm to move more quickly to the east, which would prevent the storm from bombing out quickly enough to have a major impact on the coastal areas as it moves further into the Atlantic. There could also be some mixing issues in the southern parts of the region initially, but the big snowfall should not come until after the system has moved off the coast. I will have an update on this system Wed/Thu.

Needless to say, this storm could have some major impacts on Christmas plans from Virginia up through the Northeast along the I-95 corridor. Be extra careful traveling this holiday weekend!

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Dec 12-19)

We start off the week with rather dreary conditions as rain ahead of a cold front moves over the region today. Behind the cold front, limited remnant moisture could produce a dusting to an inch of snow across the coastal areas as the leeward mountains receive 1-2 inches of snow this evening.

Skies remain rather dreary Monday through early Wednesday, with brisk winds from the northwest and lows in the upper teens to lower 20s Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. The clouds may inhibit the lows from dropping, but wind chills in the single digits are certainly possible Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be a brief break in the cloud deck Wednesday before another system developing over the Ozarks region moves over the region on Thursday.

Currently, the models do not indicate precipitation above southern VA, but if last week’s Southeast-cutter system has anything to tell us, it’s that the models might be too aggressive to bring the storm tracks southward. This will play into the forecast going into early next week as well. D.C. could likely be the northern cut-off for Thursday’s precipitation, with light amounts of sleet and freezing rain possible in the affected areas. Accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch will be possible in the region.

Most of the snow-lovers have their eyes set on early next week as some models indicate a potential Nor’easter for the 19th-20th. Like Thursday’s storm, this Sunday system is probably progged too far to the south (compared to what’s shown on the European, which suggests surface low formation along the Gulf Coast near LA/MS/AL. The GFS (American) model appears much less optimistic with this potential system, bringing the upper-level energy to the East much more quickly, which would result in an out-to-sea system. As was the case with this weekend’s system, the GFS appears to not build the subtropical ridge into the Southeast as strongly as what should actually occur, which would result in the system turning to the north more quickly than what is shown on the GFS operational run.

What does all of this mean for next weekend’s storm? The Nor’easter potential with this system is certainly the highest out of what we’ve seen this far out this winter. For our region, I could see this as a rain changing over to snow event, with major snowfall potential along the eastern slopes of the Appalachians. So long as the models aren’t completely amiss, snow totals of 2-4″ are possible in the D.C. area from this system, with 6-12″ in the eastern mountain region. The low track would be from central NC up through eastern VA, Delmarva, and up through LI and southern New England. The skeptic in me says that this storm could wind-up even further north and west than my forecast.

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Dec 5-12)

The word of the week is “COLD” as we get through the next week. Highs will struggle to hit 40F today and tomorrow, and highs will generally be in the 30s mid-week. Temperatures will warm back into the low to mid 40s, but that will still be below the normal temperature of 49F. Lows will bottom out in the low to mid 20s this week, which will be our first real taste of the cold this season (climo is 32F).

What will make the cold worse is the wind. Monday through Wednesday looks to be windy, so don’t go out without some protective clothing to keep your head, neck and hands out of the biting wind chills, which will be approaching single digits.

Towards the end of the work week, a clipper system will move over the Great lakes and into the northern Mid-Atlantic. Northern Maryland and northern Virginia could get some rain/snow showers from this system, which could mean light snow accumulations. This system helps set the stage for possible coastal storm development, which has had a relatively good presence on the GFS (and now the Euro) models over the last day. A second system is expected to form west of the Appalachians immediately following the clipper system, and a coastal low will develop off of that storm’s fronts. Should this be the storm that actually forms along the Coast, things could start to get interesting for the region as early as next Sunday. The rain/snow line will be a huge player in this potential storm, and right now the models are indicating 1-3 inches of snow for areas north of D.C.

Given how early the potential coastal storm follows behind the clipper system, there won’t be enough time for a nice blocking pattern to form in the Atlantic, which means the storm will likely move out of the region before we can get a cold-air lock into place. Without this lock, it will be hard to get big snowfall amounts south of Pennsylvania, and instead we’ll just get a rain event. However, seeing as how this storm is still a week+ away, this is all just speculation on the models. I’m not one to lock into any winter storm until it’s just four days out or less, so let’s just say I’ll believe it when I see it.

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Nov 28 – Dec 5)

The week starts off on a cool note as temperatures sit just below normal for today, but sunny skies and light winds will help make it feel like a nice late November day. Temperatures will warm to normal levels tomorrow as mostly cloudy skies start to move into the region tomorrow evening ahead of a potent storm system. Light rain will start Tuesday morning across the region ahead of the system’s main cold front, which will keep conditions damp but mild as temperatures sit in the 50s.

The big action comes Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning across the region, when a strong southerly flow develops at the lower levels and draws the conditionally-unstable air northwards into the region. This will allow for convection and thunderstorms, which is expected to quickly develop along the cold front Tuesday as it pushes northeastward. We could be looking at something very similar to what happened two weeks ago on the 16th, when a line of severe storms moved through and brought damage reports as far north as southern NY State. While this system may not get the warm air that far northward, I believe that our region will be able to get into the warm sector of this system, which will bring the severe potential up through southern PA. There is definitely concern for wind damage and a few isolated tornadoes as the line of storms rolls through.

Once this system passes, will will see mostly sunny skies and slightly below normal temperatures through the second half of the week (highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s, lows in the low to mid 30s), with a rain shower or two a possibility as a little bit of moisture lingers over the region. There will be some rain/snow showers on the windward side of the Appalachians, but there won’t be much to speak of along the East Coast. It looks like December 5th will be a snow-less day for the D.C. area.

Add-on: I should note that snow on the 5th is not completely out of the question as a potential system forms off the East Coast late this weekend, but it’s not looking good at this point.

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Nov 21-28)

Temperatures will be on the rise today and tomorrow, with widespread upper 60s and a shot at 70F possible on Tuesday. Recent model runs have indicated that the region may not get as cold as was previously forecasted, but we will see if it doesn’t get pushed back into the forecast. After running so cold for so long a dramatic change like this (closer to normal than sitting in the below normal range like it was), it’s hard to fathom NOT getting colder temperatures this upcoming weekend.

We’ll be in a bit of a disturbed weather pattern this week, starting with a cold front moving through on Tuesday, which will bring non-exciting rain and maybe an embedded thunderstorm. Wednesday will be dry, but another system developing over the Plains will move into the region on Thanksgiving and into Friday, which will cause widespread wet weather. Saturday should be dry but windy, with conditions improving to mostly sunny skies by Sunday.

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Nov 14-21)

Skies will be mostly cloudy tonight through tomorrow, with a few showers over the Appalachians as a weakening cold front tries to push through the region. This front will stall-out over the region as a new low pressure system develops in the Southeast. This new system will draw a good amount of Gulf moisture northward as a broad area of rain moves over the region Tuesday and Wednesday. Some areas will see 0.5-1.0+ inches of rain. The models are having a tough time with regards to the development of this system, but both agree that this will be a good rain event for the region.

There will be a weak disturbance coming out of the Midwest soon after the Tue/Wed storm passes through, which could bring some light snow over the northern parts of the region to go along with the scattered rain showers, depending on the timing of the disturbance. The NAM has a slower spacial progression of both systems, which would be more favorable for snow at this point since the NAM would put rain/snow showers over the region Thursday night. In contrast, the GFS has rain showers over the region during the daytime hours on Thursday. It looks like there won’t be enough cold air available for D.C., Baltimore and points south to get cool enough for snow.

Temperatures should quickly rebound to near normal to slightly above normal for the weekend as a subtropical ridge over the Southeast provides our region with winds from the southwest. All-in-all, we should have another beautiful weekend with mostly sunny skies.

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Nov 7-14)

Well, really the 8th-14th now…

Aside from some passing clouds and windy weather today, it will be somewhat nice and seasonal as we start out the work week. A ridge of high pressure will warm up the Mid-Atlantic region to near normal to slightly above normal temperatures through the end of the week, with sunny skies throughout. Highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s will be widespread. Some clouds and isolated rain showers will be possible on Sunday as a weakening low pressure system moves in from the west.

Not really anything exciting for us this time around. However, things could get much more interesting next week as several low pressure systems develop over the eastern U.S., which could set the stage for a Nor’easter late next week or a little over two weeks from now.