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Tracking a strong cold front for mid-to-late week

Rain, strong wind gusts and a significant cool-down on the way

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ROANOKE, Va. – It's that time of year when cold fronts become more frequent in this part of the country. That's a good thing, as they usually bring some rain with them. Let's break this week's cold front down into a few different steps. 

1. Rain

As moisture from the Gulf moves in ahead of our cold front, rain will be fairly widespread through the first half of the day Wednesday. Give yourself a little bit of cushion on the commute. 

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By the afternoon, drier air will be taking over and guiding this shield of rain farther to the east. This is when the wind starts to pick up. (More on that further down in this article.)

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When all is said and done, most of us will wind up with more than a quarter of an inch of rain. That's a step in the right direction, but still isn't enough to take away the drought concerns.

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As colder air pours in from the northwest, some snow showers will get started up by Snowshoe late Wednesday evening into Thursday morning. 99% of us won't see a thing, but some flakes even into the Blue Grass Valley of Highland County cannot be ruled out.

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2. Wind

The wind will start picking up as soon as Wednesday afternoon. It'll stay pretty strong at times, especially west of the Blue Ridge Parkway, through Thursday afternoon. Wind speeds stay around 15-25 mph, with gusts of 30-45 mph. Farther east into Lynchburg and Southside, it'll be breezy. However, the wind shouldn't be as strong. 

This combination of a gusty wind and colder air will make things feel quite cold first thing Thursday morning. 

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3. Frost Potential

Some of you in Max Meadows or Monterey have already seen frost this season. For the rest of us, we're still waiting. If the wind can calm down enough by Friday morning, it's possible that we see some frost by then. 

However, if the wind lingers (even around 5 mph) then frost will not develop. We'll still drop into the 30s to near 40°.


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