ROANOKE, Va. – This time last year, winter had a tight grip on our region. It wasn't so much snow, but the bitter cold. The first week of January in 2018 was the coldest it had been on record in Roanoke, with temperatures at or below freezing from the night of December 30 through daytime January 8.
Temperatures got as cold as -1° in Blacksburg and Hot Springs on a couple mornings too.
Meanwhile, Adam Lawson caught drone footage of a frozen cove in Claytor Lake.
Fast forward to right now, and temperatures haven't been below the 32° mark since the morning of December 27.
You could get away with a hike to the Hanging Rock Overlook in Craig County, without completely freezing.
My wife and I did that just a couple days ago. While it was cold, it wasn't overbearing!
After some more rain Friday, the expectation is for things to warm up this weekend. In fact, high temperatures will be more like mid-to-late March as opposed to early January.
According to the Climate Prediction Center, the overall trend for the next week and a half is for temperatures to be warmer than the average high of 45°.
That's not to say winter is over. Fluctuations do happen. If the stratosphere continues to have warming episodes in the Arctic, it's only a matter of time before we get a cold spell here in the eastern U.S. It just doesn't look like that will happen within the next week or so.