A strong area of low pressure will track through the U.S. this week leading to severe weather and significant temperature changes.
The past 7 days at Reagan National airport have been much colder than average with a high temperature departure of -11 degrees. Average high temperatures were only 33 degrees, when they usually sit at 44 degrees at this point in January. It was capped off with some light icing for parts of the region Monday morning.
- Light Icing in Arlington, VA Monday morning
The week ahead will experience spring-like temperatures before a crash back into winter by the end of the week and into the weekend. Usually my friends tell me it's this kind of week that makes them sick! A frontal boundary will hang around the region tonight and tomorrow, with fog a liklihood tonight and through much of the morning Tuesday. As far as guidance is concerned, we're not sure how much we trust it, as temperatures in the models may reach the upper 50s tomorrow, though if the fog and clouds hang around, it may only reach the mid to upper 40s. The joys of forecasting! Our current forecast is conservative hanging with the low 50s.
- Moderate Risk for severe storms Tuesday from the SPC
A strong area of low pressure and associated cold front will develop in the Plains and move into the Midwest over the next couple of days. Severe weather looks likely through the Mississippi Valley tomorrow evening and tomorrow night, with a Moderate Risk for severe storms placed over portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Severe winds and the potential for tornadoes exists in those regions, and this could be the first severe outbreak of the year.
- SPC Severe Weather Outlook on Wednesday
This severe threat will shift to the east coast on Wednesday as the cold front moves in from the west. The Storm Prediction Center had the D.C. area in the possible outlook as of Sunday, but has taken our area out of the severe outlook as of Monday, as there will be little instability to deal with. We still think there is potential for damaging winds though as winds a couple thousand feet above the surface will be around 60-70 mph. Regardless, surface winds will be windy on Wednesday, with frequent gusts from 30 to 40 mph.
Heavy rain will also be an issue. With some lingering snow on the ground or just saturated grounds, there may be the potential for some localized flash flooding. Rainfall totals may range from 1 to 2 inches Wednesday into Wednesday night.
- Precipitation Outlook through Thursday night from the HPC
Winds will remain gusty on Thursday behind the front as cooler temperatures filter back into the area. Highs should only manage the 40s through much of the afternoon hours on Thursday, and there may actually be a midnight high temperature at 12:01am Thursday morning prior to the front pushing through D.C.
Winter is expected to return by Friday and Saturday, with a chance for a few snow showers Friday morning before sunrise, to Saturday afternoon with a few weak areas of energy swinging through the region. This doesn't look like anything too substantial at the moment but we will update you if these late-week systems look to intensify.