UPDATE 7:45 AM, 12/3: No major changes yet to what I posted yesterday. It may get even warmer Thursday — some low 70s possible — and there is still a pretty solid chance of some type of wintry mix late Saturday night into early Sunday. END UPDATE
This week will offer steadily milder temperatures, 50s highs, 30s highs common, possibly rising into 60s/40s by Thursday and Friday. There will be a chance of showers late in the week with an approaching cold front, the leading edge of an Arctic regime that is about to plunge much of the Northern Plains and Northern Rockies into well-below-zero temperatures. Nothing like that here, at least in the foreseeable future, as the brunt of the cold air stays to the west.
But there may be an interesting and potentially troublesome atmospheric setup by the coming weekend. High pressure building in from the Ohio Valley across the Northeast appears likely to push cold air down the eastern slopes of the Appalachians in a cold-air damming setup. As this occurs, a new system appears poised to sweep Gulf of Mexico moisture into that cold air. Of course, it’s still a long way off, so details are very sketchy, but there would be a strong potential for wintry precipitation if this setup transpires. Depth of cold air and timing of precipitation would determine exactly what kind of precipitation would fall, and how much of each type. Similar setups in the past have often yielded a snow to sleet to ice (to rain, sometimes) transition in Southwest Virginia, with the duration of each type of wintry precipitation varying quite a bit from storm to storm. Some produce multiple inches of snow with a thin layer of ice on top, others barely snow at all before turning to sleet and ice. We have many days to watch this develop, but be aware of the potential if you have weekend travel plans in or near our area, particularly Sunday.
It appears the milder, moisture-laden air from the southwest will eventually erode the cold air pushed down by the high, at least for a few days, before another Arctic cold front arrives later next week. It does not appear at least in the next couple of weeks that we will plunge into a prolonged Arctic outbreak, but rather have recurring shots of Arctic air between milder periods.