Temperature Roller Coaster Alert for Sunday

A backdoor cold front will slide through the Washington area on Sunday morning.  A backdoor cold front is given the term “backdoor” because the cooler air mass moves from northeast to southwest, off of the cold, waters of the Atlantic Ocean.  Typically cooler air masses arrive from the north and west and push south and eastward.

Check out the animation below of surface temperatures plummeting during the morning hours on Sunday. The Fredericksburg Area and lower-southern Maryland may be the only locations that can hold onto the warmth before the cold front slides through our area from the west on Sunday evening.

Temperature Roller Coaster Ride Next Week

After a chilly weekend temperatures will soar into the 60s during the middle portion of next week followed by a chilly shot of arctic air. The 500mb chart (image below courtesy Tropical Tidbits) visually shows the ridges of high pressure (orange and red colors) and the troughs, or dips in the jet stream (blue colors) between Monday and Thursday of next week.

  • Notice the fast west to east flow across the Pacific Ocean and tendency for troughs to swing into the western United States (responsible for the drought relief across California).


  • Mild conditions in DC will abruptly come to an end on Thursday as an arctic front blasts through the DC Area. But given the strong Pacific Jet stream, even this brief period of cold weather will quickly be replaced by mild air behind it. 


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