Weather! All aboard the winter weather rollercoaster

It’s been quite the ride we’ve been on this winter. Our rollercoaster weather continues, replacing today’s warm weather with another burst of cold air. Will it last?

“You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” – Unknown

I’ve received lots of questions from people about this winter. “Where’s winter?” “When are we finally going to get some snow?” “It’s January, why is it 60 degrees outside?”

We started yesterday morning at 19 degrees. I’m sure you can imagine the reaction.

Roughly paraphrased: OMG WHY IS IT SO COLD OUTSIDE.

Welcome to January, folks.

Tuesday: We’re sitting in the warm sector of a low moving through the Great Lakes. Widespread cloudiness and the chance of some scattered showers will show up today, as high temperatures climb into the low 60s. An arctic cold front is swinging through Kentucky at the moment and will move into Virginia later this evening, bringing another round of showers and possibly some thunderstorms with it as it passes. To say today is windy is an understatement – at 2pm, winds are sustained out of the SW at 16mph, gusting to 32.

We’ve made it into the low 60s this afternoon, but our trek into springlike weather is going to be shortlived. We’ll cool off slowly this evening, making it down to near 40 as the cold front crosses Virginia. We’ll see clouds increase again overnight as the front makes progress eastward. I expect the peak of any shower activity to happen after midnight, and should be done by sunrise Wednesday. Temperatures dip into the mid 40s overnight, with winds still gusting to 30 mph at times, and possibly higher as the frontal boundary crosses the region.

Wednesday: The cold front passes through overnight, and while we start out the day in the mid 40s, we never get much warmer. Winds will flip from the southwest to the northwest and remain strong at times, with gusts to 30 mph still possible. Clouds will begin to clear out during the day, as temperatures drop into the 30s, especially in the afternoon. By Thursday morning, we’ll see temperatures in the low 20s under partly clear skies.

Thursday: Frigid is probably the appropriate word here, as we start off Thursday morning in the low 20s, and then struggle to reach a high in the low 40s. Clouds return Thursday night as another weak trough and cold frontal boundary sweep through, though with minimal precipitation chances and very little change to the temperatures. Expect lows Thursday night in the mid 20s.

We warm up pretty quickly by the weekend, however, as the winter weather rollercoaster takes another big jump upwards. We’ll be back in the 60s by early next week, and I’m sure the questions will start all over again.

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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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