Weather! One more warm day; rain on its way, but slow to arrive

Today’s warm air is replaced by a slow-moving cold front over the next 24 hours, bringing with it lots of rain and a blast of colder air.

If you recall, I last wrote on Thursday to expect rain to wash out the better part of Sunday.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. While the rain is coming – and it is coming in a very big way – it isn’t here yet. It’s been great, especially for anyone that got a head start on outdoor decorating yesterday. We ended Sunday with a balmy 73 as a high, well above average (57) for the date. Clouds are already in place across much of Virginia, and will continue to thicken in places where the cloud layer isn’t already established.

Monday: Some sun will try to peek through in places today, keeping temperatures well above normal for one more day. Temperatures will make it into the upper 60s this afternoon before sunset. High pressure situated offshore will continue to funnel in winds from the southeast today, pulling in additional moisture. Out to the west into West Virginia and Kentucky, a strong upper level trough will slowly creep east. Southerly and southwesterly winds near the boundary will pull in lots of moisture-laden air from the Gulf of Mexico, dropping significant amounts of rainfall from the Virginia mountains to points west. This flow of warm, moist air will keep temperatures near 60 overnight.

Tuesday: Rain moves in ahead of the front on Tuesday, beginning somewhere around sunrise. We’ll pick up at least half an inch of rain through the day as the rain moves out Tuesday evening. Temperatures will hang around 60 as the rain starts, and then fall rapidly as the cold front passes through eastern Virginia. By Wednesday morning, expect temperatures near 40. Winds will pick up during the day as well, with wind gusts in excess of 20 miles per hour at times.

The upper level trough will morph into an area of upper-level low pressure cut off from the main circulation through today and Tuesday, pulling in a strong blast of cold air behind it. As the low lifts off Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll deal with a prolonged bout of cold weather, with highs struggling to make it past the low 50s through the end of the week. Lows will be near 30. Skies will clear out once the rain moves through, but even with clear skies we’ll struggle to warm up.

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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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