ROANOKE, Va. – We are tracking a cold front that means significant changes to our weather over the next 24 to 36 hours. Let's break it up into parts for you.
Much-needed rain has started moving into the region this morning. A lot of us will be using the windshield wipers on the way into work. This is a good reminder that if your windshield wipers are on, your headlights need to be on too. It's the law.
While there may be some breaks in the action, another push of rain moves from west to east around midday. The heaviest of the rain will be near and to the east of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Our cold front passes through during the afternoon, bringing an end to the rain.
However, it's now being replaced by a strong wind out of the west and northwest.
A Wind Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for areas along and west of the Blue Ridge Parkway (as seen below).
After the rain passes, the wind in these areas stays sustained at 15-25 mph with gusts of 35-55 mph (higher gusts in the mountains). This is enough to knock down a few limbs and perhaps cause some spotty outages. Make sure to secure any loose furniture/outdoor belongings and decorations. Exercise caution when driving, especially on I 81. Lastly, under no circumstance should you be burning when it's this windy out.
Colder air will be riding in on this strong wind as well. Overnight lows drop into the upper 30s and low to mid 40s. Factoring in the wind, it will feel colder than that first thing Thursday morning.
Highs top out in the 50s Thursday afternoon for much of the area, with a mix of clouds and sun. If the wind calms down enough, patchy frost will be possible Friday morning.
The better chance of that may actually be east of the Parkway, into Lynchburg and Southside.