ROANOKE, Va. – Just days after seeing snow and sleet in the area, we’re in the process of turning a corner to more spring-like weather this weekend. Friday stays cool, with more clouds wedged into the area. This is thanks to a southeast wind that will play a role in our weather at times Saturday.
That southeast wind lifts the air up the Blue Ridge, allowing periods of light rain to develop from Carroll County north into the mountains of Amherst and Nelson Counties.
We’ll see this pattern continue on and off throughout the day Saturday, with temperatures rising. As the wind shifts out of the south, warmer air gets pushed north into our region.
This may come with a price, however. Air this warm and humid is being guided in by a strong wind out of the south and southwest not just here at the ground, but thousands of feet up. This kind of wind energy will allow a line of heavy rain and storms to develop to our west. It’s possible that this line stays strong, as it moves through our region after 10 p.m. Saturday.
Should this line stay intense enough, as some forecast data says it will, we may be looking at localized wind damage and a brief period of localized flooding near creeks and poor drainage areas. There’s some rotation in the atmosphere, but the question is whether or not there’s enough thunderstorm fuel to set anything off. Large hail is highly unlikely, given how warm the air is throughout the atmosphere in this case.
April-like warmth will continue to be the story throughout the weekend, as some of us get close to our record highs.
Temperatures will get very close to their records Saturday in Roanoke, Lynchburg and Southside. Blacksburg will likely break its record high. Come Sunday, Roanoke may fall short. Blacksburg will definitely fall short, but Lynchburg and Southside will try to get close to the record.
We’ll stay unseasonably warm at times through next week, with signs of a pattern shift around Martin Luther King weekend. This pattern shift would lead to colder air, but any threat of wintry weather is pure speculation at this point.