Massanutten Resort / Harrisonburg

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Harrisonburg, VA

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Forecast Discussion

Summary

SYNOPSIS

... An Arctic Front will pass through the area this morning. High pressure will build overhead tonight, before moving offshore this weekend. Below average temperatures will result through Saturday before warming up into next week.

NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... Latest surface analysis draws a strong arctic front that is just starting to encroach on our forecast area. This can also be seen clearly via radar imagery, where a line of snow showers is dropping out of PA into western and northern MD. These should weaken as they drop towards the south, but could still drop at least some light accumulations along the MD/PA border. Accumulations will be higher in western MD where the line is holding together a bit better, but still nothing too substantial (perhaps and inch or so).

As the front clears the area later today, strong cold advection will follow. Temperature trends will not be diurnal today, as temperatures should actually fall, or hold steady through the day. Highs today will not get above freezing for most east of the Blue Ridge. West of the Blue Ridge, areas will be stuck well into the low to mid 20s or less (teens to single digits in the mountains). Winds will also be picking up in intensity in the wake of the front. This, paired with the cold temperatures, will lead to dangerously cold wind chills, especially along the Allegheny Front. Wind chill values will be in the teens for the lower elevations, with negative teens possible on the ridges.

A very cold night expected tonight with lows in the teens to single digits in the lower elevations with single digits to below zero out in the mountains. Even with winds starting to taper off, wind chills will still be quite cold tonight, with Wind Chill Advisories remaining in effect through Saturday morning.

SHORT TERM /SATURDAY THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT/... High pressure will build overhead Saturday morning, and then progress offshore Saturday afternoon through Sunday. Warm advection will ensue in southerly flow as high pressure shifts offshore. Temperatures will begin to moderate in southerly flow, but remain below normal, at least on Saturday. Skies will be mostly sunny on Saturday, with high temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 30s across southwestern portions of the forecast area, to the upper 20s across northeastern Maryland.

By Sunday expect clouds to return in southerly surface flow, paired with an upper trough sliding by. Temperatures will be substantially warmer as well, reaching the 50s once again.

LONG TERM /MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY/... An UL trough will be overhead to start Monday, but gradually shift offshore through the day and heights will rise in the wake of the trough as a ridge builds over the Ohio Valley. At the surface, this translates to a weak cold front passing through the area Monday morning, with high pressure building into the Ohio Valley on Monday and spreading east offshore of the Carolinas by Tuesday evening. This will result in a southerly return flow with the high offshore and a warming trend in temperatures.

Uncertainty remains with the midweek system as guidance continues to differ in the placement and speed of the shortwave over the Ohio Valley and how it ejects to the northeast. Have continued to mention SChc POPs along/west of the Alleghenies Wednesday with low end POPs spreading east into Thursday. Does appear rain is the predominate precipitation type given the positive temp anomalies at the surface up to 850 mb.

Gradually warm each day with high temperatures in the upper 50s to mid 60s on Wednesday. Overnight low temperatures in the 30s on Sunday and Monday night will warm to the upper 30s to mid 40s by Wednesday night.

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