High wind alerts in effect for most of the region through Thanksgiving

Wind gusts may lead to downed limbs and power outages through Thanksgiving

ROANOKE, Va. – After a few morning showers Wednesday, we’ll turn gusty at times in the afternoon with temperatures mostly in the 60s. As the afternoon and evening progress, we’ll gradually notice the wind getting a little stronger.

Sustained wind speeds will range from 15-30 mph late Wednesday night into Thanksgiving morning.

Peak gusts will reach 40 to 50 mph in areas like the Roanoke Valley, New River Valley and Highlands with even stronger gusts along the ridges. While the wind won’t be quite as strong to the east, gusts will reach 25-40 mph in Lynchburg and Southside.

If you plan on driving 81 late Wednesday into Thursday morning, be extra cautious. This strong wind will be coming in perpendicular to the interstate and make for a strong crosswind at times. A few downed limbs and power outages will be possible too, so have a Plan B for the turkey. Strong gusts make it tough for power crews to restore power efficiently.

The wind will add an extra nip to the air early Thanksgiving, especially west of the Parkway. Bundle up if you’re heading out to the Drumstick Dash. Daytime highs range from the 40s in the NRV and Highlands to 50s in Roanoke, Lynchburg and Southside.

Once the wind calms down, temperatures drop into the upper 20s and low to mid 30s first thing Black Friday. We’ll stay dry through Friday and for the first half of Saturday. A warm front lifting north Saturday will trigger a few showers and perhaps a brief period of sleet north of 460. On and off rain will last through midday Sunday, before another batch of colder air and high wind gusts arrive.

Accompanying that will be the chance for mountain snow and even some Monday morning flurries in the NRV, Highlands and Roanoke Valley. The best chance for any accumulation of an inch or more will be in areas like Whitetop, Mountain Lake, Snowshoe, etc.

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