ROANOKE, Va. – With the recent spring-like warmth now comes a spring-like storm system, which will set off multiple rounds of rain over the next 36 to 48 hours. Even that spring-like warmth, however, will take a bit of a break Wednesday.
Temperatures Wednesday won’t behave like you typically expect them to, as most of us will see a drop in temperatures throughout the afternoon.
This comes with a warm front that will sag south of the region throughout the day and will then provide a focal point for some areas of rain Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. Most of the heavy rain is expected to be near and south of US 460 (Blacksburg, Roanoke and Lynchburg to Floyd, Rocky Mount, Altavista, Martinsville and Danville).
There may be a bit of a break in the action midday Thursday, but a strong area of low pressure rising from the Gulf will change that. This will lift our warm front north, sending in warmer air and Gulf moisture. This means periods of rain, most of the really heavy rain east of the Parkway, late Thursday into Thursday night.
Most streams, creeks and rivers will rise. The National Weather Service is forecasting the Dan River to reach minor flood stage Friday and Saturday. Any more rain than what’s forecast, and this will likely change to moderate flood stage (which would be more impactful).
Friday will be cooler, windy and drier with mountain snow showers piling up on our west-facing slopes. Come Saturday, another weak system will develop to our southwest. That moisture running over our colder air could set off some snow late in the day into very early Sunday morning.
This doesn’t have the makings of a major winter storm at all, but we’ll continue to monitor for possible accumulations. Priority number 1, however, is the rain/flood threat.