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Some sun today, clouds and rain tomorrow while wildfire smoke is overhead Fredericksburg.
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Some sun today, clouds and rain tomorrow while wildfire smoke is overhead Fredericksburg.

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This – Wednesday - morning’s clouds will gradually part and reveal a smoke-obscured sun later today. The incredible fires burning all along the West Coast are emitting prodigious quantities of smoke which is being transported across the nation by the jet stream (right-hand graphic panel). Since the smoke is thousands of feet overhead surface air quality in and around Fredericksburg isn’t affected but the hazy skies will create an eerie look to the sun’s appearance.

Today will wind up partly sunny with temperatures rising to the mid-70s (F) after morning lows of 51, 48, and 53 degrees respectively at Shannon Airport, Stafford Regional Airport, and the University of Mary Washington. Skies will become overcast tonight courtesy of the leading edge of Hurricane Sally’s cloud shield. That slow-moving tropical system is pounding parts of the Gulf Coast this morning with multiple inches of rain, several feet of storm surge, and winds approaching 100 mph.

Thursday will introduce a mixed weather bag as moisture and rainfall from Sally pushes northeast while a cold front moves in from the northwest (left graphic panel). Temperatures will begin the day near 60 degrees and climb to the upper 70s as southerly breezes usher in warmer air. Precipitation will arrive in southern sections of Spotsylvania and Caroline counties just after lunchtime tomorrow and then show up across the remainder of the Fredericksburg area by late afternoon.

The relative speeds of Sally’s remnants and the aforementioned cold front will determine how much liquid local rain gauges will register, with perhaps a half-inch or so accumulating across southern sections of the Fredericksburg region. Several inches of rain are expected down toward the Tidewater area where a Flash Flood Watch is in effect through Friday evening.

At this juncture, the weekend looks dry and much cooler behind that cold front. Shorts and flip-flops may need to be traded in for warmer togs to enjoy the outdoors...but we’ll take a closer look at that in Friday’s Weather Blog entry.

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