Weather! A questionable weekend forecast for a very special holiday

We’re halfway through another gorgeous day in the River City, but conditions begin to degrade by Saturday afternoon. Keep the umbrella around this weekend, and keep an eye on Sunday night.

UPDATE Friday 10:30 PM: Any concern for snow that I might have had earlier today has subsided with the last round of model guidance. HOWEVER, we’re not completely out of the woods. Showers beginning around sunset Saturday and last into Sunday evening. The biggest question Sunday night will be temperatures. If we’re still around 40 by sunset, then I don’t think we’re in much trouble. If temperatures dip down into the 30s, though, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see some frozen precipitation mix in a little bit. It’s not going to be anything significant, but don’t be surprised, either.

End Update

It’s been the talk of the town on Thursday – that rodent saw his shadow. Or, rather, the members of the “Inner Circle” (bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?) decided that Punxsutawney Phil had seen his shadow. Take that for what you will. Granted, this is a woodland creature that isn’t exactly known for being right, either.

Speaking of holidays, Sunday marks a holiday that is near and dear to my heart. No, I’m not talking about Super Bowl Sunday. February 5th is also National Weatherperson’s Day. Why pick some seemingly random day in the beginning of February to honor our nation’s meteorologists and weather partners? You can thank John Jeffries for that. Born on February 5, 1744, in addition to serving as a physician and scientist, Dr. Jeffries became our nation’s first weather observer, taking observations in Boston beginning in 1774. Here’s to you, Dr. Jeffries!

It seems somewhat appropriate that we’re presented with a pretty complicated forecast, even in the short term through Sunday.

Friday: This is certainly the least active day of the three this weekend. Weak high pressure set up over Virginia is going to keep skies clear today. However, temperatures become a bit cooler, with a high only in the mid 50s. That said, we’ll have some excellent skies – make sure you get out to enjoy today while you can. Even with the cooler air, it’s going to still be a very nice day tomorrow. Expect clear skies to continue through the remainder of the day. We’re going to make it into the mid 50s this afternoon. Temps tonight dip back into the mid 30s.

Saturday: Clouds increase Friday night and Saturday morning as the high begins to erode and move out to sea. Highs get back into the mid 50s, with some scattered showers beginning to develop into the afternoon and evening hours. Temperatures fall into the low 40s Saturday night as the chance for some additional rain continues.

Sunday: More rain showers continue through Sunday morning. Temperatures don’t warm very much, only making it into the mid 40s. As temperatures cool into the mid 30s Sunday night, the chance for some frozen precipitation begins to come into the picture. Right now, there’s not much agreement among the model data; the only model to really jump on the snow train so far is the 12Z run of the NAM. I’m going to wait for some additional data before I make a final call on this; look for an update later this evening with a little more detail. I can only hope that Dr. Jeffries graces me with a bit of his own wisdom from the great beyond.

If anything does fall Sunday night, it won’t last much past Monday morning, as we spend the early part of next week back in the 50s. A large ridge of high pressure moving in behind the low this weekend will give us partly to mostly sunny skies and very mild temperatures for the beginning of next week; we’ll spend our days in the low 50s and our nights in the mid 30s.

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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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