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FREDERICKSBURG AREA WEATHER: Smoky haze may stifle heat
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FREDERICKSBURG AREA WEATHER: Smoky haze may stifle heat

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A blanket of wildfire smoke overhead will keep temperatures in the Fredericksburg area down a bit this week.

September is shaping up to be much warmer than normal. At this point in the month, the average high and low temperatures in Fredericksburg are 81 and 60 degrees, respectively. (Those values drop to 76 and 53 by month’s end.) Today—Monday—the forecast high is for the low 90s. However, that number may turn out to be a bit too high, given the thick layer of wildfire smoke overhead.

The graphic shows a plume of smoke stretching southwest to northeast across the continent. On the ground, folks likely won’t smell smoke since most of it is aloft. But some people with sensitive sinuses could feel the effects. Those smoke particles not only provide very red sunrises and sunsets, but also tend to reflect some of the sun’s energy out into space. It wouldn’t be surprising if this afternoon’s high temperature topped out “only” in the upper 80s in and around Fredericksburg as a result.

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What will be obvious is an increase in humidity as dew points creep back up to the uncomfortable range. Southerly winds around a sprawling high pressure system are pumping Gulf of Mexico moisture into the Fredericksburg area. The cool crisp morning temperatures of last week will be replaced by sticky lows near 70 degrees much of the rest of this week.

Tuesday’s weather will look much the same as today, with that wildfire smoke still hanging overhead. Afternoon thermometer readings will be a couple of degrees warmer than today’s for Fredericksburg and vicinity. No precipitation is expected through mid-week, and only limited chances for rain are expected during the late week period. Of course, that depends a lot on how the tropics behave.

At the moment, Tropical Storm Nicholas is approaching the south Texas coastline with more flooding rains as this week progresses. Nicholas looks to rain itself out along the Gulf Coast and won’t likely send enough moisture north to affect Virginia. Meanwhile, there are two other Atlantic tropical systems of note, with one of them just east of the Bahamas. That one could affect Fredericksburg’s weather later this week, so it bears watching.

Happy Monday!

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