Cold blast sweeping east arrives in Virginia Wednesday

Posted at 8:23 AM, Nov 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-11 08:50:17-05

RICHMOND, Va. – We’ve been talking about it since last week in our regular forecast discussions, but the Arctic blast is almost upon us in Virginia. The strongest cold front of Fall thus far is surging southeast Tuesday morning, plunging temperatures 20 degrees within just a few hours of the frontal passage.

The wind flow shows the efficient transport of this cold air-mass behind the cold front (the longer green lines mean faster winds):

And then there’s the snowfall. The first big snow of the season for many Plains and Midwest states. CLICK HERE to track the snow on our Interactive Radar.  Here is a selection of snowfall totals (measured in inches) as of early Tuesday morning (from NOAA):

CAMBRIDGE                            16.5                    
ST AUGUSTA                           16.5                    
RUSH CITY 4 NE                       15.0                    
STARBUCK                             15.0                    
PRINCETON 8 SE                       14.5                    
PINE CITY                            14.0                    
HOFFMAN                              13.0                    
KIMBALL                              13.0                    
MILAN                                13.0                    
RICE                                 13.0                    
MAPLE LAKE 7 NE                      12.5                    
ST. CLOUD                            12.1                    
WEST DULUTH                           8.2                    
MSP INTL ARPT 3 SW                    3.0                    

GLIDDEN                              14.0                    
SPOONER                              14.0                    
SPRINGBROOK                          13.0                    
FOXBORO                              12.0                    
GRANTSBURG                           12.0                    
NEW POST 5 NW                        12.0                    
SARONA 3 E                           12.0                    
WINCHESTER 3 NE                      12.0                    
HAYWARD                              11.0                    
MINOCQUA                             11.0                    
RICE LAKE                            11.0                    
WEBSTER                              11.0                    
SUPERIOR                              7.5
EWEN                                 12.0                    
ALLOUEZ 1 S                          10.0                    
NATIONAL MINE 2 NW                    9.7                    
NEGAUNEE 3 NE                         9.7                    
SKANDIA                               9.5                    
IRONWOOD                              9.0                    
MARENISCO                             9.0                    
TROWBRIDGE PARK 1 W                   8.5                    
IRON RIVER                            8.0                    
CALUMET                               7.0                    
CHASSELL 1 SSW                        7.0                    
PINE STUMP JUNCTION 6 N               7.0

Although snow is unlikely in central Virginia from this system, that cold air will drop our temperatures from around 70 degrees Wednesday to barely around 50 degrees on Thursday afternoon. Highs will stay in the 40s at best Friday through Sunday, with Saturday morning temperatures bottoming out in the 20s. CLICK HERE for forecast updates.

A second piece of upper-level energy will swing over the East Coast late Thursday, and you’ll notice the cloud-cover as that happens. There is a slim chance we could squeeze out a few rain showers, and maybe even some snowflakes Thursday night, as that energy passes over us.  However, with the dry air coming in behind the cold front, that chance is very low.

We are also tracking the potential for snow Sunday morning, but there are a number of factors to consider, including the time-of-arrival of the precipitation Sunday. As I see it now, precipitation will not arrive until closer to lunch-time Sunday, favoring a cold, rainy day. However, if the system from the Southeast US arrives earlier and in sync with the cold temperatures above the ground, we could see some snowflakes falling before a changeover to rain Sunday. We’ll keep you updated on that potential. Regardless, no significant or disruptive accumulation is expected in central Virginia. The only part of the state that may see up to a few inches of snow will be the mountains of western Virginia Sunday.

Stay with CBS 6, we’ll keep you ahead of the storm.