Today will be one the few dry days over the next 10 days. It is going to be very wet and (at times) wintry. High pressure is off to our northwest today. A cold front is stalling out to our south.
We’ll have partly to mostly cloudy skies through the day. It won’t be too bad, but it will be a little chilly. We’ll have a breezy northeast wind. So high temperatures will only be in the low-mid 40s with a few upper 40s here-and-there.
By tonight a couple of areas of low pressure will form to the south of the front. These areas of low pressure will move east/northeast along the front over the next 48 hours. There will also be a large/broad trough over a large portion of the country (including here). So we’ll have a few showers by tomorrow morning. Then rain will increase through the day.
High temperatures tomorrow will be in the 40s. It will be much milder to the south and much colder to the north.
The forecast becomes tricky Thursday night into Friday morning. The low pressure areas to our south will push a lot of moisture up into the colder regions. This will produce a cold rain for about 2/3rds of our area, but there will be a mix and some snow north/northwest of the metro. At least for a brief time. Then the mix/snow should warm up to some rain showers before drying out during the mid morning. At least that’s the general trend. However, the models disagree on how far south the cold air will get. So let’s take a look.
Our Future Trak model has a wintry mix starting up around the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck, and Eastern Shore by Thursday evening. Then it has the wintry mix dropping south early Friday morning. This is from about Franklin to Newport News to the lower Eastern Shore. It has snow snow north of that line. That would be from about 1-5am.
Then it warms things up slightly and ends the precip around 7-8am. It is dry for the rest of the day. This somewhat follows the European model, but that model has a little less time for the mix and snow.
In contrast… the GFS model this morning showed a much milder and wetter scenario for here. It only has a wintry mix (and not much snow) between 10pm and 3am. Most of that is north of Hampton Roads.
It has the precip changing over to rain and then ending gradually through the early afternoon. The NAM model follows a similar scenario to the European model, but it has a much shorter window for the wintry weather. It seems to pull in some dry air from the north by mid-morning. Here is the latest snow forecast from the various models:
The main theme here is that accumulating snow is more likely north and west of the metro, but there could be some light amounts on grassy areas JUST to the north and west of the metro. Here’s my preliminary forecast map:
There is a Winter Storm Watch for Middlesex county and the Northern Neck so far.
There may be some advisories posted later today for areas just south of this zone.
One problem that may arise this time is ice. Many of the models are suggesting some ice or freezing rain may mix in with the snow for a time early Friday morning. This would be areas to the northwest of Hampton Roads. Especially areas closer to I-95. These are the typical colder spots that we have during Winter or Wintry Mix events.
If that happens, then it could cause a lot of problems for travel Friday morning for those locations. So check back for updates on that.
There will be a lot more rain on Saturday. Then we could see some more wintry weather Sunday morning before it changes to rain or a mix. We’ll have more updates on that over the next couple of days.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler