“New year, new me!”, says Mother Nature as she slowly sips her Prosecco a few minutes past midnight. The new year comes in the blink of an eye so she wonders how to make it exciting for all of us in Hampton Roads. “Let’s keep it unusually warm”, she says to herself. “Some soaking rains could be fun, too.” Then turning to Ol’ Man Winter with a devilish, glowing grin she asks, “do you think you can also show up to the party?”
As we ring in the new year big changes are in store for Hampton Roads – the unsettled, soggy, and warm weather takes us into the weekend before soaking rain and cold air comes crashing in.
The fog will take us through the late morning, giving way to cloudier skies this afternoon. We’ll be lucky to see any break of sun. A gentle southerly breeze will help nudge our temperatures to near 60° with a few isolated showers sliding by tonight. Not enough to ruin any New Year’s Eve plans, but if you have plans for the first weekend of the new year, Saturday will be the day for them.
The stationary front sitting overhead starts to lift northward on Saturday, allowing warm air to blow in from the south. A few showers are possible early on Saturday, but the afternoon looks decent. Mostly cloudy with a warm, balmy breeze boosting our highs to near 70°.
Soon to follow on Sunday is the cold front – which brings the soaking rains. Rain, and even a rumble of thunder or two, is expected for most of the day. We don’t often us the term washout, but it’s likely Sunday will be one.
Here’s the next fun part of this forecast, depending on the arrival of the cold air behind Sunday’s front, there could be a brief, brief, window early Monday morning where the rain can flip to snow. So we can mix in a few snowflakes as the front moves out. No major impacts are expected, no major accumulations, no winter wonderlands, but if any snow does mix in it’ll be the first of the season!
Quick clearing is expected Monday morning though as the dry & cold air comes crashing in. Wind chills will likely be a factor as high temperatures will struggle to hit 40°(!) We’ll stay in the 40s through Tuesday before quiet weather prevails for much of next week.
Happy New Year, friends! Have a happy and safe weekend.
Meteorologist Steve Fundaro