The week ahead: Beyond a sunny start lies a damp weekend

I can’t call this weekend a complete washout, but chances are good that you’re going to see some rain this weekend.


Unfortunately, a sunny and warm Friday won’t be the precursor to a sunny and warm weekend. Two air masses – a warm air mass pushed northward by high pressure over the eastern Gulf and Florida, and a strong low in the Canadian arctic driving cold air southward – will collide over the east coast. The result is a slow-moving cold front that will set up shop across the mid-Atlantic beginning on Saturday, and it’s going to be slow to clear out.

After sunny and 60 on Friday, temperatures will remain warm on Saturday. However, clouds will increase as the front begins to develop, and we’ll see showers begin to move in from the west late Friday night and throughout the day Saturday. Some of these may be organized but some may be rather disorganized – expect rain to be intermittent.

The sun will make a return on Sunday as the front slides to the south. However, exactly how far south it slides is still a bit fuzzy. You may not have to go very far down I-95 to get back into the clouds and rain. It’s going to be one of those days where, based on what we know right now, there’s a good chance the entire forecast could go belly-up. Hope for some sun, but don’t be surprised if the showers do stick around longer than expected. The one saving grace there is that if we do get more rain, temperatures may stay a few degrees warmer than the 46 we’re looking at currently.

An area of low pressure will begin to develop along the front Monday and begin to get organized, finally getting things wrapped up and moving eastward. Unfortunately, it’s still going to be a slowly-progressing system; we’ll see things get a bit more organized, but clouds and rain will remain in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures will come back up some, especially on Tuesday, making another run at a warmer-than-average 60.


The good news? By the time you’re ready for a break the atmosphere will begin to reset. High pressure returns for Wednesday and Thursday; temperatures remain cooler but still seasonable in the low 50s.


This March won’t be a repeat of the incredibly warm March 2012. For those of you who are anxious for a quick return to sunny skies and warmer temperatures (like me), it’s going to take a little longer to warm back up; we’re sticking a little closer to, and at some points below, the 30-year averages this time around. Unfortunately, the outlook for the next two weeks from the Climate Prediction Center doesn’t look good either – their forecast for the week following next offers nearly 2:1 odds that temperatures continue to remain below average.

At least I’m not talking about snow.

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Weather Dan

Dan Goff is now a two-time former Richmonder, having departed the River City yet again in favor of southwest Virginia, where he is working on degrees in geography and meteorology at Virginia Tech. Have a question about the weather or weather-related phenomena?

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