Weather! More near-record heat in store

We’ve either tied or set record high temperatures for the last two days. Monday’s high of 89 tied the record set in 1942, and Tuesday’s high of 93 surpassed the daily record of 92, also set in 1942.

We’ve either tied or set record high temperatures for the last two days. Monday’s high of 89 tied the record set in 1942, and Tuesday’s high of 93 surpassed the daily record of 92, also set in 1942. Tuesday also marked the earliest 90-degree day in a year since 1963, when April 3 marked the first 90-degree day of the year. The earliest 90-degree day on record occurred on March 17, 1945, when Richmond topped out at 91 degrees. Additionally, the stretch from April 1 to 6 this year has marked six straight days before April 15 of 80-plus degree temperatures. The record is seven consecutive days, which was set back in March 1990.

If it’s any consolation, Richmond, my good friend in Seattle is quite bitter that we are enjoying these early summer days. There’s always someone just as unhappy about their weather as we are about ours.

Wednesday looks to be a continuation of the previous two days. Clear skies, reasonable humidity and breezy winds will make for another day in vicinity of 90 degrees. Wednesday’s high is 94, so we likely won’t set another record, but we’ll come precariously close. I’m confident we’ll extend that 80+ streak to seven days, possibly before noon. Other than that, it’s going to be a quiet, hot, slightly sticky, pollen-filled day. Enjoy it, and please don’t sneeze on me! Lows Wednesday night will drop back into the mid 60s,

As I alluded to on Twitter on Tuesday, if you’re thinking about heading down to the river to escape the heat, please be careful. The river is still quite high, even with the lack of precipitation, and life jackets are required as long as the river is over 5 feet at the Westham gauge.

(Source: NWS; Click to enlarge)

The pattern finally begins to change on Thursday. Clouds will begin appear in advance of a cold front in the afternoon, as rain chances go up into the evening hours. There’s the possibility for some thunderstorms as this cold airmass slams into the hot, dry airmass that’s currently in place. The Storm Prediction Center is still pretty torn about what’s going to transpire on Thursday and they haven’t issued any sort of severe weather forecast for the region, but it’s one thing I’ll be keeping an eye on as Wednesday progresses. Temperatures will still approach 80, despite the cloud cover, giving us a shot at 8 consecutive days above 80 degrees. Once the rain moves in, temperatures will moderate some, falling back to near average for this time of year. We should bottom out around 50 Thursday night.

Behind the cold front on Friday, we get more seasonable weather – actually, below average – as cold air settles in. Clouds will continue to linger behind the front into the day on Friday, with temperatures only rebounding slightly from Thursday night’s lows. Friday’s high will land just below average for the day, in the low 60s. Friday night is looking downright chilly, with lows near 40. It should be quite the shock after the last few days.

Temperatures look like they will start to rebound over the weekend, as high pressure takes control yet again. I’ll post another update before the weekend.

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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?

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. In addition to the dangers of the river, the National Weather Service also issued the following statement about increased fire danger today.

    …Increased fire danger this afternoon across northeast North
    Carolina…central and southeast Virginia…and the lower Eastern Shore…

    Very warm to hot temperatures will combine with near critically
    low relative humidity values…and gusty southwest winds…to
    create an increase in fire danger conditions this afternoon.
    Temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 80s to around 90
    this afternoon as relative humidity values fall to 25 to 35 percent.
    Southwest winds of 10 to 15 mph are expected to occasionally gust
    to 20 to 25 mph.

    Fine fuels such as leaves…grasses and tree branches have dried
    out considerably over the past few days…and these would burn
    quickly this afternoon…when temperatures are highest…humidity
    lowest…and winds strongest.

    Residents are urged to exercise caution handling any potential
    ignition source…including machinery…cigarettes…and matches.
    Be sure to properly discard all smoking materials. Any dry grasses
    and tree litter that ignite will have the potential to spread
    quickly. Virginia residents are also reminded that outdoor burning
    is currently prohibited before 4 PM.

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