Blog: 1st Day of Winter, The Great Conjunction, And Holiday Precip!


Great Conjunction

Today is the first day of Winter (officially). Sunrise was at 7:14am, and sunset is at 4:52pm. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the sunrise this morning. The clouds were pretty thick, and there was also some fog. There were even a few light showers over northeast North Carolina with some drizzle over parts of southeast Virginia. There is a weak cold front that is moving very slowly offshore today.

Regional Weather Map

There is an area of high pressure off to our west, but it’s way over towards the Mississippi River Valley. There is a weak disturbance in the upper levels over the Mid-Atlantic. This could allow the clouds to hang around through the late afternoon. Our Future Trak model has some clearing later today, but other models have the clouds lingering into the evening. Either way it will be chilly. High temps will only be in the upper 40s to near 50. Winds will be variable at 8-12mph.

We are really hoping for some clearing by the evening. We have a historic event tonight. It is called the “Great Conjunction”. Basically Jupiter and Saturn will align, and they will look like they are one planet. This hasn’t happened in about 800 years. At least not this closely and during the nighttime. This will happen shortly after sunset Probably about until an hour or two after.

The Great Conjunction

For now I’m calling for partly cloudy skies. So I think there is a 50-50 shot at seeing the event. Good luck! If possible, then I think we will broadcast it tonight on WAVY News 10.

Overnight we’ll have more clearing. Temps will be drop to near 40 with 30s inland. There could be some more patchy fog. Then tomorrow high pressure will build into the region. We’ll have mostly sunny skies with a mainly western breeze. High temps will be in the low-mid 50s.

Temps Tomorrow

It should be a nice day. Wednesday will also be nice. We’ll be partly cloudy with highs in the 50s. Unfortunately, it looks like rain will move in on Thursday. The models are showing a lot of rain during the afternoon and evening.

GFS Model (Thursday Afternoon)

The Rain may even be heavy at times. At least high temps will be in the 60s. So it will be warm, but it won’t feel very Christmassy. This will be ahead of a very strong cold front. The front will move through in the evening. Overnight into Friday morning the rain will change over to a wintry mix, but it would likely melt. Temps will be above freezing through that time.

GFS Model (Thursday Night)

Behind the front on Friday (Christmas Day), there will be some very cold air in the mid and upper levels. There will also be a very large/strong upper level low overhead. My gut says that there will be at least some flurries during the day. It could turn into some sprinkles or a few small sleet pellets in places as temps will rise to near 40 in the afternoon. However, it’s possible that flurries could fall in the morning or evening when the colder temps are in place. This is not a done deal, but that’s kind of the early indications that I see from the models and the pattern setup. So stay tuned for updates.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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