Weather! Winter’s not over quite yet

Gloomy skies and colder temperatures will be the story this weekend, complete with the chance for our first measurable snowfall this month.

The cooler temperatures and partly cloudy skies you’re seeing this afternoon are a precursor to what’s coming this weekend, in the form of gloomy skies and unseasonably cold temperatures.

It’s going to be a good night to stay inside and watch basketball tonight. A weak trough of energy will be crossing the area this evening and tomorrow morning in advance of a strong area of low pressure crossing the Mississippi valley and approaching the east coast tomorrow. This trough will bring some increased cloudcover with it this evening, and the possibility for a light shower or two from this evening into early tomorrow morning. Lows tonight will be in the mid 30s.

I’d plan on staying inside and watching basketball on Saturday, too. Clouds will continue to increase during the day as the low approaches from the southwest. Temperatures will peak in the upper 40s in the afternoon, but chances for rain and wintry precipitation will increase through the afternoon and evening hours as well. Expect precipitation to start out as rain, before transitioning to more of a mix overnight and into early Sunday morning. Temperatures and the ground will be warm enough that I don’t think we have to worry a lot about snow accumulation, especially as we straddle the freezing line both near the surface and aloft. It’s likely there will be some sleet or freezing rain mixed in as well. Plan on lows Saturday night in the low 30s, and make sure that if you’ve got any outdoor plants already going this spring that you take the time to protect them before Saturday evening.

Any snow that does fall would mark our first measurable snowfall for the month of March. Snow isn’t uncommon even into early April in Richmond, so it’s not completely unprecedented to see snow this late in the season.

The precipitation will peak early Sunday morning, then tapering off as the low moves out to sea and high pressure begins to move back in to the area. We likely won’t see a lot of significant improvement until Monday at the earliest, but I’m hopeful we’ll see some breaks in the clouds before Sunday comes to a close. Temperatures will only peak in the low 40s, and drop back into the low 30s overnight Sunday night.

Looking ahead to next week, we’ll start to see some improvement on Monday, and temperatures will moderate some as we go through next week. We’re looking at another storm system moving through about midweek, but temperatures will be warm enough that we shouldn’t have to worry about any more winter precipitation.

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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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