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USNA News Center

Unseasonably Warm for the Navy-Army Game

  POSTED ON: Monday, December 7, 2015 10:17 AM by A.R. Davies

Generally zonal flow cross the Continental United States is expected for the work week, with a series of fast moving, midlevel short waves of energy.  The first wave of energy will cross the Mid-Atlantic States on Monday, resulting in scattered showers through central Virginia, West Virginia, and Western Maryland.  In Annapolis, only a few clouds are expected later in the day with rain probable across the southern Delmarva Peninsula. Two additional short waves of energy will pass Wednesday night and early Friday morning, and will likely produce an increase in clouds with little rainfall in Annapolis (although a passing sprinkle cannot be totally ruled out).

By Friday afternoon, the synoptic scale atmospheric pattern will change.  A deep midlevel (500 mb) trough will dig into the western half of the United States and slowly move eastward throughout the weekend and into early next week. In response to the intense 500 mb trough of energy along the West Coast, a strong ridge (high pressure) will develop and persist along the East Coast through Monday. The Figure below shows the five day average 500 mb height anomalies spanning Thursday evening through Monday evening. The midlevel trough-ridge wave pattern is clearly evident in the Figure, along with the resulting southerly flow that is expected for the eastern third of the United States over the weekend.

500 mb Height Anomalies

The warm, southerly flow will result in well above normal temperatures this weekend. The Figure below shows the GFS (American Model) Ensemble Mean Model temperature projection over the next sixteen days (black line), along with the model spread and the climatological normal (gray line). As shown in the Figure, the normal high temperature this time of year is in the mid- to upper- 40’s.  The Figure below shows that the models are projecting the high temperatures this weekend will range 55oF to 60oF in Annapolis.  However, from experience the models often undershoot the observed temperatures during the winter months when this type of atmospheric pattern develops.  Hence, expect the high on Saturday and Sunday to range 60 to 64oF in the Annapolis area.  While the records at BWI Airport will likely not be broke (record highs Dec 10 to 12 range 69 to 72 oF), the temperatures will be around 15 oF above normal for this time of year with sunny conditions expected!

16 Day Temperature Projection

Navy-Army Game Weather Outlook: As a result of the trough-ridge atmospheric pattern across the United States this weekend, beautiful conditions are probable for the Navy-Army game this Saturday at 1500 in Philadelphia, PA.  As a quickly outlook, expect generally sunny skies with a light southerly breeze between 5-10 mph.  The temperature at kickoff will be around 60 oF.  Check back for the final game day forecast later in the week.


Disclaimer: This is not an official U.S. Navy weather forecast and should not be confused with the official Navy weather forecast provided by the Fleet Weather Center in Norfolk, VA.  Furthermore, the official U.S. Government forecast for the greater Annapolis area is issued by the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office in Sterling, VA.

Category: General Interest


Alexander Davies
Meteorologist and Oceanographer
Oceanography Department