Not much going on weatherwise. A cold front has made it down to about VA Beach. Anywhere from Central VA northward is in the cool sector today.
Tonight: The big question for tonight is cloud cover. If I had to do a cloud cover forecast, I'd probably cop out and call it "variably cloudy". In general, observation sites across the Northeastern quarter of the country have verified cloudier than modeling. Therefore, my forecast will follow suit and go cloudier than guidance. With that in mind, low temperatures will probably run on the warmer side of guidance (if my cloudier forecast is correct). So I expect lows to range from 50-55, but perhaps a degree or two warmer in the urban centers, where heat is retained better, and along the south coast, where cloud cover will be thicker.
Tomorrow: If I'm going to ride the cloudier scenario tonight, I have to continue to ride the same horse tomorrow. Meteorologically, it makes sense, since the sun angle is low this time of year. Despite the fact that it was so warm yesterday, the sun angle today is equivalent to that of the first week of March. Therefore, with that in mind, it makes sense to hold onto the cloud cover, especially with an onshore flow. The GFS and NAM guidance are worlds away. With more cloud cover, I'd be inclined to go with the NAM guidance. However, temperatures aloft are actually very warm, and I think there will be some breaks in the clouds. So any break in the clouds and temperatures will surge. Based on all of this, my temperature forecast will compromise the two guidance sets. I'll go with highs in the mid to upper 60s.
Tomorrow Night/Sunday: Ditto the same concerns regarding cloud cover for Sunday. A couple of differences, however: First, the winds turn NW by late in the day, so we could see a late temperature surge. We'll be starting off a few degrees warmer, as well. Finally, temperatures aloft warm another 4-6 degrees from tomorrow's levels. Based on all these factors, temperatures should soar into the mid to upper 70s, even if 2/3 of the day stays cloudy. These temperatures are closer to the GFS guidance set.
Long Term: With a strong ridge aloft, and no significant systems on the horizon, the long term portion of this forecast is very simple. There really is very little going on, so I'll just highlight a few things:
There are two main precipitation chances in the long term- the first is probably a non-event, the second will probably produce.
A warm front will move through Monday night into early Tuesday. This could trigger a few sprinkles, mainly in the western half of the state, but the probability of anything measurable is too low to mention it in the forecast right now.
The second system, a very strong cold front, which will likely be the catalyst for our pattern change, will move through the 2nd half of Thursday. This should produce at least scattered showers and thunderstorms. These cold fronts have performed well in terms of severe convection lately, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are at least a few strong to severe storms with this feature, but this is a long ways out yet.
As for temperatures, here's what I'd look for:
Monday highs in the low 70s.
Tuesday mid to upper 70s.
Wednesday near 80
Thursday low 70s
Friday around or just below 70
Saturday 60 to 65.
I already pretty much covered the long range in the headliner and you can see it at the end of the long term. Fall comes late next week, finally. It may not stay chilly every single day, but the majority of days from that point forward will definitely have a fall feel in the air.
That's all for now... I can't really do any graphics tonight. I am not on a great Internet connection, but there isn't that much to see today anyway.
Have a great weekend!