Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain & Storms Mid-Week, Nice Weekend Ahead

If you were outside Sunday for various Richmond activities, including Monument Avenue's traditional Easter on Parade, you probably thought it was Summer instead of Spring! Officially at Richmond International Airport Sunday the high temperature was 88 degrees. That's well above the average high for this time of year of about 72 degrees, but not quite to the record high for yesterday's date of 94 degrees in 1925.

Monday will be nearly identical to Sunday, perhaps a degree warmer up to 89 degrees! High pressure off the Carolinas coast is keeping us mostly sunny and allowing a steady south to southwest wind to bring in warmer, moist air. Today's record high is 96 degrees, also from 1925. So the beginning of this week feels like July's average highs (upper 80s), but we're still not breaking any records from this Summer preview. However, the morning temperatures today in central Virginia were close to being record-warm lows for today's date! This morning's low temperature was 66 degrees, just one degree shy of the record warm low for April 25th of 67 degrees from 1976!

With that steady stream of moisture gradually infiltrating the Commonwealth from the south, we should get scattered showers both Tuesday and Wednesday, especially in the afternoons when we are the warmest and can get scattered convection. But our best chance for heavy rainfall (which we need: current year-to-date deficit is about 2.5" below normal) will arrive Thursday ahead of a strong cold front. The exact timing of this front is still not set in stone, but it does appear that a squall line should advance into all of the Mid-Atlantic ahead of the front Thursday morning into early afternoon. Some of these storms could be severe with damaging wind gusts. As with any thunderstorm, threats will also include lightning, hail, and downpours. We'll be tracking the development of that system and its progression toward us over the next several days.

Once that cold front exits east Thursday, the end of the week looks dry with typical Spring weather settling into the region with afternoon highs in the 70s and comfortably cool mornings in the 40s and low 50s. This is great news for the big race events at Richmond International Raceway from Thursday night through Saturday! Click here for the RIR event schedule. Stay with CBS 6, we'll keep you ahead of the storm. --Meteorologist Carrie Rose