The week ahead: cooler temperatures, overcast skies, and rain chances through midweek.

A stalled frontal boundary and a series of weak disturbances are going to create a very dreary week ahead, and it’s the State Fair’s fault, some believe. Are you ready for overcast skies and temperatures in the 60s and lower 70s? Fall is here!

A friend of mine made the following observation earlier this afternoon:

I don’t have an official statistics at the moment, but there’s certainly the perception that rain the State Fair run hand in hand, at least in recent years.

That perception will be reinforced again for 2012, as a rather unsettled pattern is heading our way for the better part of the next seven days. Some showers and thunderstorms are already making their way across the Virginia Piedmont this afternoon, ahead of a cold front bringing us yet another dose of some cooler Canadian air. It’s going to take its time getting through Virginia, however, as it is expected to stall out once it reaches the Virginia-North Carolina border.

As of this afternoon, there are some thunderstorms developing out ahead of the main boundary, which is still well west of the city. However, these showers and thunderstorms will be most prominent through tonight, with the best distribution of rain coming later tonight.

While we will get to enjoy the cooler air behind the front, and keep highs in the low and mid 70s through most of next week.

The drawback is that while this front stalls out, some weak low pressure disturbances are going to ride along this front and out to sea over southheast Virginia and North Carolina. Especially during the first half of the week, expect lots of easterly winds, pulling in cool, moist air off the Atlantic Ocean. This will result in overcast skies, with periods of intermittent, widely scattered rain showers from Saturday afternoon through next Thursday. It won’t be very uniformly distributed, and not everyone will see rain at the same time. Rainfall amounts for the position are also forecast to be pretty low, so places that are still hurting for precipitation may not get much after the front passes tonight and tomorrow.

None of this will be a total washout, but keep an umbrella or rain jacket handy this week. Don’t be like me and leave your umbrella sitting at home.

By the time we get to Thursday and Friday, temperatures will start to rebound, heading back toward the 80s. This whole mess begins to clear out next weekend, as high pressure returns on Thursday and Friday. Skies will start to clear out as this happens, offering some hope for first weekend of October that is much more desirable than what we’re dealing with this week.

It’s going to be a pretty lousy week, but persevere. There is still lots of wonderful fall weather on the way.

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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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