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The week ahead: Will winter emerge?

Jason Samenow @ 1:25 AM

Mother Nature is serving up a weather weenie's delight this week: strong thunderstorm threat on Wednesday, the possible development of a late season hurricane,and snow appears in our new Snow Lover's Crystal Ball (see bottom of this post)....

Pictured: Fall foliage at the Lincoln Memorial on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. By photographer Kevin Ambrose.

The week ahead

A very weak cold front will slip just to our south today before stalling out. The front's proximity to the area should keep us mostly cloudy. The combination of clouds and northerly winds will result in a slightly cooler afternoon compared to yesterday, with highs only in the low 60s. Overnight, this front will move northward as a warm front, and may produce some showers (50/50 chance).

Tomorrow, winds turn southerly again, and temperatures should reach the mid to upper 60s with a mix of clouds and sun. At publishing time, the National Weather Service was predicting a 50% chance of showers Tuesday. I don't see much rationale for rain on Tuesday, and would set my probabilities closer to 20%.

Wednesday will likely be the stormiest day of the week. A powerful cold front will move through the area in the evening. With strong southerly flow preceding the cold fron't passage, temperatures could approach 70 creating an unstable situation. I think there is a decent possibility of strong thunderstorms Wednesday late afternoon and evening -- with damaging winds the main threat. Stay tuned.

Cold high pressure will build into the area for Thursday and Friday. Temperatures will be a bit below average both days, with highs only around 50. Thursday night may be the coldest night of the year thus far -- from the upper 20s in the suburbs to the low and mid 30s downtown.

It should remain cool (compared to average) next weekend. Saturday should be mostly sunny, with highs in the low 50s. On Sunday, the season's first Canadian clipper system approaches from the northwest, increasing clouds, particularly late in the afternoon. A few sprinkles are possible and high temperatures look to be 45-50.

The Incredible Tropical Season Continues

Tropical Depression #27 (TD27) formed yesterday just west of the Lesser Antilles. While the circulation is being ripped apart by some westerly winds -- these winds should gradually relax -- allowing TD27 to become Gamma in the next couple of days. By mid week, conditions may be conducive for rapid intensification that will enable Gamma to reach hurricane status as it heads westward through the Caribbean. More from the Tropical Prediction Center.

Hurricane History Lesson

The image that follows, showing Atlantic Basin hurricane landfalls in the U.S. since 1950 (courtesy NOAA) is very interesting. Notice how there has not been one hurricane landfall from Virginia Beach to southern New Jersey. This is largely a result of the East Coast's geography: the areas most frequently hit jut out, whereas those spared tend to be "tucked in".

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball

Next Chance of Snow:Sunday, November 20
Probability: 10%
Potential Impact:
Commentary:A weak clipper offers the area an insignificant chance of some insignificant snow flurries late Sunday (more likely to be rain if anything). The "Crystal Ball" will be updated as necessary throughout the coming winter season.

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