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Next weather system looks like more rain than snow for Va., but late January will be worth watching

Next weather system looks like more rain than snow for Va., but late January will be worth watching

Jan 25 map

Surface weather map for Monday, Jan. 25. A broad system will bring wet weather to the central and eastern U.S. Temperatures will likely favor rain in central Virginia, but some areas just to the north and west could see an icy mix.

Next week’s weather will definitely be wetter, probably feel colder, and might turn parts of the region wintry and white.

It’s not yet a guarantee of snow in Richmond, but it’s sure to be more interesting to watch than this past week. Especially if you’re north and northwest of the metro area.

An active, wavy-looking jet stream pattern will bring us at least one system, and maybe two: the first will kick off the next workweek, and another is possible by around Thursday or Friday.

But any snowflake icons showing up in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday are probably overselling the chance, at least as far as metro Richmond goes. We may see a brief bit of wintry mix as the wet weather arrives, or as it departs, but the bulk of what we’ll be dealing with is a soaking rain.

That could add up to 1 inch or more in some local rain gauges. After these mostly dry weeks, it might just feel like we’ve slogged back into December.

As all of that moisture moves into the region, so will some warmer temperatures up at cloud level. Western and northern parts of Virginia stand a better chance of an icy mix instead of rain, or along with it, but it’s only looking like a true snowstorm for places like the Midwest and Northeast U.S.

If the weekend’s chilly temperatures get trapped in a “wedge” scenario, we could also be looking at icy conditions across parts of the Piedmont sometime between Monday and Tuesday. But if a warm front makes a better effort at shoving frigid weather away, those concerns will be limited to the ridgetops well to our northwest. For now, that’s the main uncertainty.

After a quick lull, we may have another, more favorable window for wintry precipitation by about Thursday. But being so far out, there’s not much to pin down at this point. The most reliable forecast theme involves a wave of below-normal temperatures toward the end of the month. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see flip-flopping depictions of snow in the extended forecasts over the next few days.

Check for John Boyer’s forecast updates. Contact him at


John Boyer is the first staff meteorologist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the RTD newsroom in November 2016. Boyer earned his degree in meteorology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

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