ROANOKE, Va. – 'Tis the season for thunderstorms, especially since summer heat decided to pay us an early visit this year.
While much of Saturday looks dry, there is the chance for some strong-to-severe storms mainly after 5 or 6 p.m. Don't fret, if you're heading to the Strawberry Festival or to commencement ceremonies at Roanoke College or Averett University.
The fact that it will be warm and humid, along with the fact that a storm system will be riding along a weak front, gives us the chance for more numerous showers and storms during the evening Saturday. (Only spotty storms at most expected during the hours of 12p to 5p.)
Some forecast models are picking up on a line of showers and storms approaching from the southwest. That would mean the better chance for strong-to-severe storms would be in the Mountain Empire, NRV and areas like Patrick, Henry, and Franklin Counties. If this were to come in just an hour or two later, perhaps the severe threat would be a bit lower (since we'd be running out of daytime heat).
If this were to come in a few hours earlier than currently forecast, the severe threat might extend a little farther north - into the Roanoke Valley and Lynchburg.
As of right now, however, most forecast data hints at this line moving in later - between 7 p.m. and Midnight. As we lose daytime heating, this line should gradually weaken as it approaches the Roanoke Valley, Highlands, Southern Shenandoah and Lynchburg.
Main threats with this batch of thunderstorms will be heavy rain and high wind gusts, capable of knocking down a few trees. Some hail will be possible, but the tornado threat this time appears to be very low. There's not a whole lot of spin to be generated with storms that develop Saturday evening.