ROANOKE, Va. – Weeks after a record snowstorm for some of us, we're thawing out in a big way to start 2019. At this point one year ago, lakes were turning into sheets of ice. Waterfalls were turning into - well - icefalls?
Fast-forward to the present day, and we're talking temperatures in the 60s through mid-day Tuesday. While not a record, New Year's Day could wind up being the warmest one since 2007. That's when the high reached 64° in Roanoke.
In Danville, it could be the warmest since 2012 when we hit 66°. In Lynchburg, it could be the warmest since 2005 when we hit 69°. Lastly in Blacksburg, it could be the warmest New Year's Day since 2003 when we got to 62°.
A shift in the wind New Year's Eve night will help bring in warmer air from the southwest. To some degree, downsloping wind will help keep things warm through New Year's Day.
A gusty wind out of the west and northwest (sustained 10-25 mph | gusting 25 -35 mph) comes down the mountains. The air then compresses, which helps things warm up and dry out.
Don't count on the 60s lasting long. Some cooler air does return to the area mid-to-late week, along with a chance or two of rain (maybe mountain snow?).