ROANOKE, Va. – Saturday has almost been the perfect day, as far as mid-spring goes. Temperatures in the 60s and 70s and low humidity, along with a beautiful, blue sky.
After a breezy and warm Sunday and a cooler Monday, summer pops by for an early visit mid-week.
The wind Tuesday and Wednesday will be coming in from the south and southwest, as a warm front drifts north. This is a classic "warm sector."
Both days should mostly be dry, outside of a thunderstorm or two near the mountains Wednesday afternoon. So, this pattern all but guarantees highs in the 80s.
Could we possibly hit 90°?
Sure! I looked at past instances in which we've hit 90° for the first time in a calendar year. What we see below is a map at the 3,000-foot level (we look at that level in this area, because some of that air gets mixed down to the ground and allows for further warming) on May 2, 2018. That's the first time we hit 90° last year.
There's a strong area of high pressure off the east coast, with temperatures around 16-18°C at the 3,000-foot level. When looking at the pattern for this Tuesday and Wednesday, it looks very similar.
So while our forecast currently calls for mid to possibly upper 80s, that can go higher if our confidence increases.
On average, our first 90° day comes in early May for Danville, Halifax and Charlotte Counties. It comes in mid-to-late May for Roanoke and Lynchburg. Sometimes, it takes until June or July (if at all) for it to hit 90° in the Mountain Empire, NRV or Highlands.
Regardless of whether or not the thermometer says 85, 87 or 90, it's going to get pretty hot Tuesday and Wednesday (perhaps Thursday too).
In addition to that heat, we will also have a little taste of humidity too. Dew points in the upper 50s and low 60s, while not oppressive, will add a little stick to the air as May gets going.
Be sure to stay tuned for updates on the forecast on air, online, on social media and on the StormTeam 10 app.