Cooler air will keep working into Virginia through Friday afternoon, as breezes continue from the northwest.
Afternoon temperatures will peak around 70 degrees on Friday, but the lower humidity and generous breezes will make it feel no warmer than the 60s all afternoon. Overall, it will be a refreshing day to be outside and, if you have been eager for fall to arrive, it will be just what you ordered.
Friday is the first full day of astronomical fall, and Friday night will keep that theme going, with temperatures dropping quickly into the 50s once the sun sets, bottoming into the upper 40s by daybreak Saturday. The afternoon breezes will also fade away quickly after sunset, so wind chill will not be an issue.
Temperatures rebound well into the 70s on Saturday and reach the 80s again on Sunday. Each day brings times of sun and clouds, and both look dry. Very late Sunday afternoon or evening, a few passing showers are likely to pass through, but the soaking rain we need does not look like it will come to pass.
Moderate drought continues to spread westward into central Virginia from Hampton Roads and the Middle Peninsula, with no further signs of rain through the middle of next week, and the weather looks relatively quiet, at least to start the week.
A couple of cooler shots of air will be poised to move into Virginia, keeping highs in the 70s most of next week, but the second half is going to depend on how things evolve in the Caribbean Sea in the next couple of days.
A small cluster of thunderstorms in the southwest Caribbean is expected to organize into a legitimate tropical system during the weekend. A hurricane reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to fly into that area on Friday morning to determine if it is coming together as some of the forecast data suggests it will.
As much as we would like to say otherwise, there is no actionable information about the new system for Virginia just yet. Hurricane forecasting a week in advance is not as much about figuring out where a storm is going, but ruling out where it will not go.
The greatest risk to the continental U.S. appears to be somewhere on the eastern Gulf Coast during the latter half of next week. This would suggest anywhere from New Orleans to the Florida Keys sometime in the Wednesday-to-Friday time frame.
It does seem likely that this system, which would take on the name Hermine, will grow into a hurricane, meaning its strongest sustained winds reach at least 74 mph. And there is also a legitimate chance it will impact Virginia with some amount of rain and wind. But precisely forecasting those impacts this far in advance is an exercise in futility.
For now, enjoy the cool air while we have it. Just know that the tropics are probably not done with us yet.
Top 5 weekend events: State Fair of Virginia, Maymont Bier Garden & VA Pridefest
The ingredients are there for a cold and snowy pattern. However, they need to be cooked into nor'easters and coastal storms. Meteorologist Sean Sublette at the Richmond Times Dispatch and Meteorologist Joe Martucci at The Press of Atlantic City dive deeper into the weather pattern for the week of Dec. 12 to see if they'll get put together.