ROANOKE, Va. – Before we get to the details on our seemingly never-ending heat wave, we have to let you know about the chance for storms Sunday night.
A complex of storms is riding along a boundary to our north, through Kentucky and West Virginia. As it inches closer after sunset, these storms may still pack a punch north of Highway 460 between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. The main threat is for gusty wind, lightning and heavy rain.
After we dry things out, we awaken to patchy fog and more muggy air on Memorial Day. Under a mix of clouds and sun, temperatures rise into the 85-91° range during the afternoon.
But our heat wave is far from over. Our stubborn area of high pressure remains in control over the southeastern U.S., allowing heat to build and preventing any major storm systems from leaving a footprint on our region.
This means that high temperatures will come close to record levels Tuesday through Thursday, at least in the Roanoke Valley.
It's likely that we wind up with the second-hottest May on record, the longest May heat wave on record and the most amount of 90° days in the month of May on record.
It's not until the first weekend of June that we start to notice a change in the pattern. The jet stream drops farther south, which results in the air not being as hot. However, it may also provide a boundary for more storms to ride along.
In the meantime, remember these few items while in the midst of this heat wave:
1. Look before you lock! Don't leave any living thing in a hot car.
2. Protect your feet and your pets' paws, as concrete and blacktop absorb heat. They can heat up to 120-140° in direct sunlight.
3. Seek shade, and take frequent breaks.
4. Drink plenty of water. Your body sweats to cool you down. Replenish with water.
5. Of course, be sure to use plenty of sunscreen and wear your sunglasses.