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Some rain ahead, but a warm New Year's Eve night

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Some rain here and there for an hour or so after daybreak Thursday, then most of the day is cloudy and cooler with temperatures in the 50s.

Two more relatively warm days will follow before a return to more seasonable temperatures for the first week of 2022.

Friday will reach the 60s and Saturday will soar into the upper 60s or even low 70s. Be on the lookout for a couple of hours of light rain on New Year’s Eve night. It could even hold until after midnight. And it will not be cold at all. Most of Friday night will be in the lower 60s.

Saturday night and Sunday morning bring several hours of rain as the transition to colder weather begins, and the winds will be picking up as the rain moves through, but no damaging wind is expected.

You may hear about a New Year’s Day winter storm bringing snow from the Plains to the Great Lakes, and our rain during Saturday night and Sunday will come from that storm. But we will remain in the warm side of the system, only getting rain as it moves through Virginia.

Following that rain, we get our surge of cold air, which we’ve had very little of during the past four weeks. Richmond has not had a morning below freezing since last Thursday . Monday and Tuesday will bring a shot of reality, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. But both days will also bring sunshine.

Week 2 Temperature Outlook

While relatively colder air is ahead, the core of the Arctic chill stays several hundred miles away (NOAA/CPC).

Some milder days will follow later next week with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s, and another large system moves through Thursday into Friday of next week. And while it will be colder than what we’ve become accustomed to recently, it won’t be cold enough to get ice or snow.

So for snow lovers, there’s not much to look forward to for the next couple of weeks.

Richmond Climate Check:

As the warm December continues, Richmond keeps moving up the chart. Through the 28th, we are having our third warmest December on record. We have a good shot at moving into second place. And a new record is not entirely off the table yet.

Three warmest Decembers in Richmond through the 28th, based on average temperature:

  • 2015: 52.1°F
  • 1956: 49.9°F

2021: 48.1°F

Through the same period, Richmond is having its fourth driest December on record this year:

  • 1980: 0.38 inches
  • 1985: 0.45 inches
  • 1988: 0.69 inches

2021: 0.70 inches

Data is from Southeast Regional Climate Center, with consistent Richmond records beginning in 1897.

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