Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tracking Two Storm Systems

Two storm systems will bring an opportunity for rain to Central Virginia over the next week. The first will be a chance for showers (a quarter-inch of rain or less) as a cold front passes through the state on Monday. As of Saturday night, that front is moving through the Midwest and Plains. (See map to enlarge.)
A second system will bring us another opportunity for rain Wednesday. Our Wednesday storm system is currently over the Southwest U.S. and is now cut-off from the upper flow that will steer the Midwest system toward us Monday. The Southwest low will gradually make eastward progress early this week, passing through the Southeast U.S. toward Virginia by Wednesday. This system looks like it will be the stronger of the two, with very gusty winds and heavy rain (1"-3") possible from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. Here is a snapshot of what the system will look like around 1 a.m. Thursday:
See that tight pressure gradient over the Commonwealth? That should lead to wind gusts around 35-40mph from late Wednesday into Thursday morning.

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