Archive for December, 2009

RAIN ENDS EARLY MAKING FOR A FAIRLY DECENT NEW YEAR’S EVE… A VERY CHILLY AIR MASS IS ON ITS WAY FOR THIS WEEKEND

If you have local travel plans this New Year’s Eve, weather shouldn’t be much of a factor. The rain should be out of here by late morning and today (Thursday) should turn out okay. New Year’s Day also looks to be decent but a cold air mass will be approaching for the weekend. A strengthening low pressure system off the New England Coast will increase our winds making for a very blustery and chilly weekend. The cold weather should continue well into next week.

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MILDER AIR MOVES IN FOR CHRISTMAS DAY… RAIN ARRIVES LATE… SATURDAY WILL BE ABOVE NORMAL BUT COOLER AIR MOVES IN FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK

The major storm system over the center nation that has caused snow and high winds from Central Texas north to the Northern Plains will move into the Western Great Lakes region. Moisture out ahead of the frontal system associated with this system will bring increasing clouds to Hampton Roads along with an increasing chance of rain late on Christmas Day. Temperatures will be slowly climbing as mild air will be drawn into our region. Rain will continue overnight with windy conditions. The rain ends on Saturday but the mild temperatures should remain. A cold front moves through late Saturday bringing a return to cooler weather early next week. For those traveling, please be ready for some wintry precipitation well north and west. However, this will not be a major winter storm for the Mid-Atlantic states. When low pressure systems move by to our west, the counter-clockwise flow around them brings in the warm air on southerly winds. At the onset of the precipitation, sleet or freezing rain is possible in areas where the cold air is firmly entrenched. Hampton Roads does not have to worry about that with this event. Next week could get interesting as the pattern remains active. Have a safe and joyous holiday!

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THE WEATHER IMPROVES AS THE BIG STORM MOVES AWAY… IT STAYS CHILLY BUT NOTHING TOO EXTREME

Hampton Roads dodged the bullet when it comes to snow although we had quite a bit of rain and wind. You’ve probably seen the headlines about how much snow has fallen and it really is incredible. Northeastern VA near DC picked up more than two feet of snow!  Philly got dumped on with 23 inches recorded. We had a little over two inches of rain and my neighborhood picked up a dusting of snow on the grass, cars, roofs, etc. The roads don’t look too bad this morning. Tidal flooding did cause some flooding problems but the storm was nothing compared to the November Nor’easter. As the low pressure area moves northeastward off the New England coast, the pressure gradient will lessen and as a result, our winds will slowly subside by tonight. The early work week looks chilly with intervals of clouds and sun as disturbances move through the area. Nothing more than a snow flurry and/or sprinkle is expected until we get to Thursday (Christmas Eve). Then, we have to watch a developing area of low pressure that should bring us a wet Thursday night and Friday. Could there be snow in parts of the Mid-Atlantic states to hamper the holiday travelers? Maybe, but this next system will probably be a bit milder than the last one. It’s way too early to make specific predictions since this next system may be a more complex system with more than one  low pressure center possible. So, the snow drought continues here in Hampton Roads. However, if this wet pattern continues, I think we stand a chance of seeing some accumulating snow as we move deeper into the winter season. Only time will tell.

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HISTORIC SNOWSTORM SLAMS NORTHERN AND WESTERN VA… NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND STATES ARE NEXT IN LINE

A low pressure sytem that originated in the western Gulf of Mexico has strengthened as it moved northeast causing havoc for many from Florida northward. Parts of Florida received copious amounts of rain causing severe flooding. Further north, the issue is snow, wind, and some tidal flooding. This snow event is going to be historic for some areas from Western NC up through western VA, parts of MD, eastern PA, NJ, and then it moves into southern New England tonight. Roanoke is getting hit very hard and this will be the case for DC today. Philly will get into the act as well as NYC and even Boston tonight and early Sunday. A Blizzard Warning is in effect for Long Island, NY and Cape Cod, MA. Snow depths over two feet are possible in some spots, believe it or not.  For Hampton Roads, it’s just a windy, rainy day. Yes, there is a possibility of some snow flakes as the low pulls out later this afternoon and cold air drops in from the north, but my thinking is that most of us will not see anything significant. At most, it will be a coating of snow on grassy surfaces, but I doubt that we will even see that, especially here in my neighborhood of VA Beach. For any of you who have not read my “weather fact” on predicting snow for Hampton Roads, you should do so today. I try to explain why snow is so rare for Hampton Roads and the biggest reason is the relatively warm Atlantic Ocean, which is still in the upper forties. A northeast wind brings this milder marine air off the ocean basically eliminating any chance of snow here locally. It takes a certain set-up to create snow for us and we are very overdue for that. It’s was December of 2004 when we received our last snowstorm here in Southside Hampton Roads. Winds will gust to gale force througout the day and will slowly subside overnight into Sunday. The winds will back around from NE to N and then to NW on Sunday.  The next chance of signifiicant precipitation is on Christmas Eve. I’ll have a new post on Sunday.

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SUNDAY WILL BE A WET DAY WITH A STIFF SOUTHEAST BREEZE… MONDAY WILL BE A NICE DAY FOR MID-DECEMBER… WE STAY MILD THROUGH TUESDAY

Sunday will be rainy day but a southeast wind will keep us on the mild side. The rain should taper off Sunday evening and Monday looks like a very nice day for the middle of December. The mild weather sticks around on Tuesday but a cold front will cool us down by mid-week. It will be very interesting to see what our total precipitation will be for 2009. This year is already in the top 10 wettest years. Let’s see if we can get into the top five.

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