7:15 AM | Dramatic change to colder weather early next week

6-Day Forecast

Today

Sun then increasing PM clouds, cold, mid-to-upper 30's

Tonight

Mostly cloudy, cold, chance for a couple of snow showers, lows near 30

Friday

Mostly cloudy, breezy, not as cold, maybe a rain shower or two, near 50

Friday night

Mostly cloudy, breezy, chilly, couple of rain showers, upper 30’s

Saturday

Partly sunny, breezy, cool, upper 40’s; low 40's at midnight

Sunday

Partly sunny, milder, near 50

Monday

Mostly cloudy, becoming very windy, chilly, maybe a couple of snow showers, highs in the low-to-mid 40’s, but temperatures may drop during the afternoon

Tuesday

Partly sunny, windy, much colder, highs near 30 with even lower wind chills

Discussion

The polar vortex has been somewhat displaced in recent days and a dramatic temperature pattern change to colder weather is about to unfold here in the Mid-Atlantic with the first true Arctic outbreak of the year. A strong cold front will whip through the region early next week and this will usher in the coldest air of the season so far. AO and NAO indexes, that we have been monitoring over the past few weeks, will begin a sharp downward trend during the beginning of January supporting the notion of a change to colder weather here in the eastern US. In fact, after above-normal temperatures through Sunday, New Year’s Day, the trend will reverse on Monday and temperatures will struggle to pass the 30 degree mark on Tuesday and strong winds will generate even lower wind chill values. Longer term, it appears that this early week cold air outbreak will not be the last as multiple shots of cold air will likely invade the central and eastern US during the early and middle part of January. As far as precipitation is concerned over the next few days, the late week and weekend will feature a couple of weak systems passing by well to our north and they may generate an occasional rain or snow shower as we close out 2011.