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Weekend forecast: Rounds of rain, possibly finishing with some wet snow

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forecast map

Surface weather map valid 7 p.m. Sunday evening, January 2, 2022. Note the cold front heading toward Hampton Roads, marking the dividing line between the advancing cold air to the northwest and retreating warmer air to the southeast.

Richmond holds on to the relatively warm air for another couple of days, but it will feel decidedly more like winter on Monday morning.

New Year’s Day will start with some cloudy areas and perhaps a couple of daybreak showers, but southwest wind through a deep level of the atmosphere will likely get us into the 70s before two waves of rain move through as the next storm crosses the state.

The first wave comes late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. That wave should be fairly brief, just a couple of hours, allowing for another lull in the precipitation before the steadier rain arrives Sunday night.

Sunday night and Monday morning bring the second wave, and there are mixed signals in the data about just how much rain comes down. As is often the case, the precise location of the storm’s center will determine if we get a tenth of an inch or a half-inch. Given the energy for the Sunday night wave of the storm will still be in Arizona on Saturday morning, there is still a lot of room for the forecast to change.

However, most of the data is coming into agreement for a legitimate chance for about an hour of very wet snow mixing in just as the precipitation ends before daybreak on Monday morning. The ground will be too warm and too wet for any accumulation to occur, and the chances at getting snow are better farther west toward Roanoke and Charlottesville.

While a small dusting or coating of snow on grassy surfaces at daybreak on Monday morning cannot be discounted in Richmond, it’s not the most likely outcome of this storm. At least not yet.

But there is no question that the relative warmth we’ve gotten used to over the past couple of weeks will have ended abruptly on Monday morning.

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