UPDATE 8:30 PM: Some showers overnight/Sunday morning; mid-week storm adds to coastal misery, might brush a little wet snow into SW Virginia by Wednesday
UPDATE 8:30 PM: Rain appears to be getting an early start, moving in from West Virginia into Southwest Virginia. Track the latest radar here by linking here. END UPDATE
A quick-moving, relatively weak low-pressure system will slide southeastward just south of our region early Sunday, triggering some light rain, near and shortly after sunrise. A little sleet or snow can’t be ruled out, especially in higher elevations, but its track will allow it to lift in some slightly milder air aloft that will probably turn most precipitation liquid. In any event, the precipiation will be light and wont’ last long, probably not past mid-morning Sunday.
The big story of the coming weather week is the potential for a significant East Coast storm to follow the misery left behind by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy early this past week. Southwest Virginia snow lovers will immediately note the current Hydrometoerological Prediction Center projected track from the Florida Panhandle on Tuesday to near Cape Hatteras on Wednesday is a common one for some of our bigger winter storms — when it’s actually winter. There may be some chance of wet snow on Wednesday, but there are some obstacles for this being a winter storm threat in our neck of the woods. First, cold air is marginal — no major renewed Arctic shot ahead of the storm’s arrival. There is some evidence of cold-air damming on some of the model runs — high pressure to the northeast pushing cold air south and west against the eastern slopes of the Appalachians — but it’s relatively weak, easily scoured out, and models suggest there may be a secondary weak low in the Ohio Valley (shown on the inset Hydrometeorological Prediction Center’s weather map for Wednesday at left) that may rotate in a bit milder air. Another factor that will make it hard for widespread, significant snow to develop Wednesday is that the low may strengthen just a bit too late to fling an adequate amount of moisture far enough westward to intercept any cold air here. But it is just close enough on some points that it’s worth monitoring for any wintry weather potential, though some cold rain showers and more breezy chill will be a little more likely. Whatever it does in Southwest Virginia — and, as with Sandy, we are likely to be outside its core impacts –this “son of Sandy” is likely to tighten into a strong coastal “nor’easter” storm by Thursday that will bring more wind, waves, rain and snow to much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, regions that don’t particularly want those kind of things to happen right now after being blasted by Superstorm Sandy.
Warmth lovers, your time is coming — by next weekend and early the following week, a pattern shift will sweep much milder and perhaps downright warm air into much of the East. Until then, highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s will be common — maybe even colder than the 50s in the day if there is significant precipitation.