Thursday, February 3, 2011

End of Week Rain Potential & Winter Weather Preview For Next Week

A storm system weaker than the one that just exited the U.S. will move through the Southeast through Saturday, bringing Virginia a good chance for rain beginning late Friday night into Saturday. The upper level vorticity for this system is currently over the desert Southwest, as shown here:

This upper support is also pulling moisture northward from the Gulf into the southern U.S. today, creating scattered light snow and rain showers. This moisture will spread toward the Mid-Atlantic Friday, which we will notice in the form of increasing cloud-cover from the south.
I do not expect rain to move into southern Virginia until after dark Friday.
Here's a Saturday time-line of the rain for you:

As you can see, we may get some breaks in the rain during the day Saturday, so don't expect a total washout. However, we could pick up anywhere from a quarter to a half inch of rain in the area from this system.

The rest of the weekend should be dry. There has been indication in the past couple of days of our weather pattern shifting back colder next week, much in the form we've experienced most of this Winter. There is the potential for two snow events next week. The first would be a quick, light snow on Tuesday as a result of a fast-moving clipper system. The second event is highly uncertain right now, but looks like it could affect Virginia sometime between Wednesday and Friday. That storm would be a coastal low pressure system developing in the Southeast, and then hugging the coastline up to the Mid-Atlantic. As we are well aware from prior storms this Winter (and last Winter, for that matter), that low's track will significantly impact our winter weather potential in the Commonwealth. The timing of this system will likely shift in the coming days, as will our expected impacts. But we are monitoring the data and looking for that pattern shift that would set us up for another coastal winter storm. We'll provide updates here on the blog! --Carrie

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