Dry weather likely for several days — and warmer by the weekend, perhaps scraping 70 by early next week
Rain amounting to a few hundredths in most locations was little help on Tuesday against the growing drought conditions in much of central and western Virginia. And rain (or any other precipitation) appears to be unlkely for at least the next week. As has been the case since just before Thanksgiving, the focus of storminess will be on the Pacific Northwest the next few days, as another strong low-pressure system off the coast up there will swirl in periods of heavy rain and high mountain snows in the Cascades. This will mark a continuation of the Pacific-North America negative (PNA-) pattern, which will lead to mild to warm air swirling around the big low’s circulation over much of the U.S. through at least the middle part of next week. The Climate Prediction Center’s 6-10-day temperature map shows a likelihood of warmer than normal temperatures in much of the central and western U.S., with Virginia on the periphery of the area leaning toward warmer than normal temperatures. While near normal temperatures will prevail the next couple or three days (highs in the 50s, lows in the 20s and 30s), a spike of warmth is expected by the Sunday-Tuesday period, with highs in the 60s to perhaps some low 70s. Around Dec. 5-6 or so, which would be mid to late next week, a strong low-pressure system is likely to develop in the central U.S. and move northeast across the Great Lakes into Canada. This storm will puncture the mild pattern at least somewhat and bring a push of colder air from Canada southward. The CPC 8-14-day maps have most of the central and east backing off the likely warm regime to a better chance of near normal temperatures. It doesn’t appear there will be a major shift leading to a wintry weather pattern in our area through at least mid-December, but the milder pattern may break down a piece at a time, starting with next week’s storm system. There are some signals on the models for generally colder and wetter weather by the second week of December.