The mild pattern will continue through the weekend as the temps stay above normal. Major changes are on the way Monday with widespread rain, maybe some thunder and windy conditions. Expect a switch to a more wintry pattern on Tuesday with mountain snow and colder temperatures.
Today will be a pleasant and dry day with the mercury in the thermometer topping out in the 50s most locations as a few 60s east of the Parkway. Look for the skies to be mostly sunny. Saturday will be a lovely day to take a walk or a hike in the region. The meteorological winter is just a few days away and I am looking at a major shift in the weather pattern as early as Monday.
Sunday may be the last mild day for a while as an area of low pressure will intensify in the SE United States then migrate into the Commonwealth on Monday. Sunday will be the day of transition as clouds will become more prevalent and the region will see a chance for some rain to arrive in our Southside counties just a bit before midnight Sunday. Original thinking has the rain coming in quickly Monday, but a weak wedge is going to develop prior to the arrival of the rain and that may slow down the forward progress of the rain a bit. It is still going to rain, but if the batch gets partially absorbed by the wedge, we may see less rain.
Monday will be rainy and windy. The feature will be a deep area of low pressure that has all the earmarks of gusty winds and heavy rain (depending on the wedge mentioned above). The origin of the low is from the south so the air will be mild. That is significant as the precipitation will be in liquid form (rain) and not frozen (snow). Then the low moves north and retrogrades a bit through the Eastern Great Lakes of Erie and Ontario. This movement west and north will allow this feature to grab some colder air from Canada and sweep it into the Commonwealth. The result will be heavy snow in West Virginia very late Monday or early Tuesday and linger into late Tuesday evening. The snow is not expected to get past the spine of the Appalachians but there may be some snow bursts make it to interstate 81. All the while we should be dealing with windy conditions. The ground is also not frozen so that, coupled with the rain expected ahead of the snow will restrict the accumulation process of the snow. Grassy areas may see the snow pile up and bridges and overpasses may be icy, but we may not get much measured throughout the Mountains.
As for the wintry feel, Tuesday and Wednesday will be much cooler with highs only reaching the upper 30s to low 40s. Mountain snow should continue Tuesday and the winds will not relax until Wednesday.
Stay safe and healthy