Boy! Winter took a long nap in February. Then it woke up, and now it will create a week of Wintry conditions.
Today will still be fairly quiet, but as we go through the day 2 systems will inch closer to our region. We have high pressure to our north this morning. There is one area of low pressure over the Midwest that is already pretty potent. Then there is another area of low pressure off the coast of Florida.
The high will weaken and move northeast through the day. We’ll have a local easterly breeze at the surface at 5-15mph with gusts up to 25mph. Clouds will increase as moisture moves in at the upper levels. We could see some spotty showers late in the day.
High temps will be in the upper 40s with a few 50s inland and south. By tonight the rain will become widespread. It will really pick up, and could be a downpour at times.
Some of this will be from Overrunning. However, some will also be due to the coastal low creeping up from the south. The coastal low isn’t too strong, but it will contain a lot of moisture. It will move north and merge with a bigger area of low pressure over the Midwest into tomorrow.
The effect will be a phasing of the two systems. This basically means that the environmental conditions will come together between the 2 lows to create strengthening. The upper level winds will also merge. The colder air will create a large area of snow from D.C. to Boston. Some of that region will see about 12-24″ of snow. Youch! And that’s in mid-March! It will mostly be a rain and wind-maker for us. Heavy rain will continue in our region from late tonight into tomorrow morning.
The Rain will taper off during the afternoon. A few spotty showers will still be possible, but it will be isolated to scattered. Highs will be in the upper 40s to near 50. Then as the low moves off to our north some more moisture will roll down the back side of the system. This will bring a few more showers Tuesday night. That will also be from a wind-shift line that will move through at that time.
Colder air will start filtering by that point. So there may be a scattered/light wintry mix over the area. I don’t think we’ll see too much in our region Tuesday night into Wednesday. Our model does call for a little snow north of the metro into early Wednesday morning, but it shows a small area of precip .
The hi-res NAM model is also pretty meager with precipitation during that period. There could be some light accumulations around the Northern Neck and Accomack county, but it shouldn’t be much. Any snow that falls will be on a wet ground. Plus, ground temps are still above freezing. Hampton Roads could see some flurries Wednesday morning, but that’s about all I see for now. (Stay tuned). Then we’ll dry out Wednesday afternoon. Highs will only be in the 30s, and it will be breezy.
We’ll be dry and chilly for the rest of the week. Highs will mainly be in the 40s. Lows will be in the 20s and teens. It will be tough on the flowers and plants. Finally we’ll warm things up by next weekend. Back to normal.
Let’s talk more about the rain. Rain will be heavy tonight, and that could lead to some localized (isolated) flooding. Between tonight and tomorrow our model is calling for 1-2″ of rain, with some locations getting 2-3″.
A lot of this will soak into the ground. We haven’t had much rain recently. Norfolk is down 1.1″ below average for the month. We are down 2.56″ for the year so far. So in the long run the rain will be beneficial.
Now let’s talk about the wind. Wind will be out of the east/northeast today at 10-15mph gusts will be up to 25mph this afternoon near the shore. By tonight the wind will pick up out of the northeast at 10-20mph with gusts up to 30mph.
Tomorrow the warmer low will be moving northward (offshore). So our winds will start to turn out of the northwest. They will gust up to 40mph near the shore. Especially over the Eastern Shore.
The wind will stay up through the afternoon. They will only taper off a little by Tuesday night. It will still be pretty windy on Wednesday as the low roars off the coast of the Northeast U.S.
Finally…tidal flooding. It doesn’t look too bad at this time. I think that’s primarily because the dominant winds will be out of the northwest for the majority of the time. This typically empties out the bay (not literally). So there will probably be some low-water advisories on the north end of the bay. There could be a little minor tidal flooding around Kiptopeke and over the Sound side of the Outer Banks. I’ll have an update on that tomorrow morning.
Stay tuned for updates to all of this mess. I think it will be mainly messy for Hampton Roads, but severe in the northeast states. Travel could be tough. So check your plans.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler