WEATHER: What it’s like to be stuck in the middle

Posted at 8:01 AM, Oct 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-09 08:01:19-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Today, I can’t help but insert my own lyrics to the song, “Stuck in the Middle with You.” ((Singing, likely off-key)) “High to the north of me…Low to the south…Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.” (Pardon the weather humor).

Today, we are “stuck in the middle” between high pressure centered over New York and a northward-creeping low pressure system along the Outer Banks.


The winds moving clockwise around the high reinforce our seasonably cool air-mass today with a northeast breeze. But that breeze is a bit more blustery along the Bay and the Coast, closer to the approaching low from the south.

These winds and rougher surf are caused by a tightening pressure gradient (the pressure change over distance). Gusts at the Peninsulas on the Bay will be higher than in central and western Virginia, commonly reaching 30 mph. That will kick up the waves more, coinciding with high tide this afternoon. For that reason, there is a Coastal Flood Advisory for some of you along the Bay. Minor flooding is possible in low-lying coastal areas here:


The approaching low pressure system will send ample moisture and rain our way from the southeast to the northwest today. In Richmond, I expect some showers to reach us during the day, but our steady, heavier rain won’t arrive until late afternoon through the evening commute. Plan on a wet Wednesday evening! Showers will continue overnight into Thursday as the low pressure system lingers in the Mid-Atlantic.

SIDE NOTE: The weather map shown above would be an ideal winter weather set-up if this were in a few more months. This is a cold air damming scenario, with a coastal low sending overriding moisture. It’s cooler today closer to the mountains where the cool air from the northeast is hugging close to the ground, whereas moisture is streaming in from the coast. Of course, the atmosphere right now is warm enough to support rain as our precipitation type. But remember this set-up as we enter our Winter months with freezing temperatures. This is the kind of picture that could lead to ice storms, even heavy snowfalls if it’s cold enough all the way above the ground.

By Friday morning, most of our area should have received one to two inches of rain. As showers continue off and on this weekend, some higher totals over two inches are possible across the eastern half of Virginia, closer to low and the moisture source (the Atlantic).  With several cloudy, damp days, afternoon highs will struggle to get out of the 60s through at least Friday.

Even though the surface low will weaken, the upper low pressure system linked to the surface feature will remain over us on Friday, keeping the chance for showers in the area.  Rain chances will be lower, but stay in the forecast through the weekend, as onshore flow continues.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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