The March winter storm wrote another chapter today, dumping many 1-2-foot (and some higher) amounts on parts of New England where much less was forecast. Seems Boston got D.C.’s snow.
If winds calm enough to go along with clear skies, low dew points tonight will set up radiational cooling overnight, with many lows in the 20s across Southwest Virginia on Saturday morning and maybe some upper teens in spots that typically get the coolest. Any amount of cloud cover, lingering winds or perhaps an early intrusion of warmer air from the southwest would keep temperatures up a bit. Regardless, both days this weekend should feature relatively mild highs in the upper 50s to low 60s under sunny skies across the region, as the cold air trapped in the region finally lets go a bit. These are not extraordinary compared to norms (low 50s for Blacksburg, mid 50s for Roanoke), but Roanoke hasn’t scraped 60 since Feb. 15 and Blacksburg hasn’t since Jan. 30, and both sites have a chance at that. Temperatures so far in March are running 6 to 8 degrees below normal — highs of 52 and 44 on Friday were a far cry from highs of 70 and 62, respectively, at Roanoke and Blacksburg on March 8 a year ago.
A low-pressure trough and cold front pushing through early in the coming week will likely bring widespread rain to the region, with amounts near an inch possible. Our soil is moist from 6 weeks of frequent rain and snow, and in the higher elevations and especially counties along the I-64 corridor and northward, there is snowpack in the process of melting. So there could be some flooding concerns if the rain is an inch or two more than projected, something to monitor, but generally not expected to be a major problem at this time. Once the cold front passes, some windy weather will ensue, knocking temperatures back down from the above-normal spurt, but it doesn’t appear the early week front will bring especially frigid March air, but more like normal to slightly below normal (think upper 40-mid 50s highs, lows in the 20s and 30s.) Toward the end of next week, an Alberta clipper type system crossing the Northeast may drag a front through that will be followed by colder air, still expected to dominate most of the next 2 weeks.