Warm temperatures are here just in time to help us ring in the New Year. However, there’s an extra-cold round of air on the way for next week, so it won’t be warm long.
We’re going to spend this weekend in the warm sector of a cyclone moving across the northern tier of the US, leaving us with quiet – and very warm – weather for the weekend. Temperatures will run above the daily average through Sunday.
Friday: Cloudy skies to the west are thanks to a weak upper-level trough swinging through the eastern US today and tomorrow. They’ll keep temperatures down a little bit, but still expect very seasonable weather for what is statistically one of the three coldest months of the year. Highs today will make it into the mid 50s with a light wind, as skies remain partly cloudy through the day and into tonight. Increasing clouds tonight will keep temperatures warm overnight, with lows only in the mid 40s by sunrise.
New Year’s Eve: Partly to cloudy skies will help us ring in 2012, but temperatures will be near 60 for a high. It’s so nice, it might actually be hard to justify sitting inside and watching football all day. Get out, enjoy the weather. It’s not often that we see 60 days in late December. Of course, we’ve already had 10 days of 60+ temperatures this month, including two above 70, perhaps rendering my previous statement moot. Temperatures will be in the upper 40s at midnight, falling to near 40 by daybreak on Sunday. Winds during the day will be out of the west with gusts to 20 mph, dying off after sunset.
New Year’s Day: We’ve got clear skies in store and a warm start for 2012. Highs will make it to at least 60 degrees in the afternoon, but the beginning of 2012 marks the end of our warm, sunny weather. Our cold snap begins as lows make it into the upper 30s on Sunday night. We’ll have another windy day on Sunday, with a shift to the south (the source of our extra-warm air) and gusts again near 20 mph.
Monday: The cold air gets here in earnest, thanks to a dry cold front swinging through Sunday night. Temperatures will struggle to reach into the mid 40s for a high, and fall into the mid 20s before sunrise Tuesday. Breezy northwest winds behind the front will keep conditions dry and mostly cloud-free.
There was some buzz earlier this week about a model run that showed some fairly significant snowfall for eastern and central Virginia on Tuesday, but it has since backed off pretty significantly, to the point where the consensus now is more that we’re not going to see any precip at all. However, the arctic air mass responsible for the cooler temperatures is definitely on its way, with highs struggling to reach 40 through the remainder of next week.