88ºF

Potential for isolated severe storms before wintry air returns

A strong cold front moves through the area Wednesday evening

Severe weather outlook - 2/26/2020
Severe weather outlook - 2/26/2020

ROANOKE, Va. – A breeze out of the south will keep the warm, spring-like air flowing throughout the region Wednesday. At the same time, however, a cold front will be moving into that air and will trigger a line of rain and storms.

By around 3-5 p.m., this line will move through the New River Valley and Highlands but likely won’t be very strong just yet.

FutureTracker - 2/26/2020 at 4 p.m.
FutureTracker - 2/26/2020 at 4 p.m.

Between 6 and 9 p.m., this line will jump the Blue Ridge (see severe outlook at the top of the article) and pick up some steam in the warmer air. Localized wind damage and brief ponding/minor flooding will be possible, as this moves quickly to the east.

FutureTracker - 02/26/2020 at 6 p.m.
FutureTracker - 02/26/2020 at 6 p.m.

Once our cold front passes east, we’ll notice a quick drop in temperatures and uptick in wind speed Wednesday night. This will also help to pile up the snow on our west-facing slopes Wednesday night through Thursday morning.

FutureTracker - 02/27/2020 at Midnight
FutureTracker - 02/27/2020 at Midnight

A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect for the higher elevations of Grayson, Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties through midday Thursday.

Winter Weather Advisory through midday Thursday
Winter Weather Advisory through midday Thursday

The main thing we’ll all feel is the wind, which is forecast to get strong at times throughout the day Thursday. A Wind Advisory goes into effect Wednesday evening for the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley and Highlands.

Wind Advisory from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday
Wind Advisory from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday

That wind, in combination with the colder air, will make things feel a little unpleasant first thing Thursday morning.

Estimated wind chill - morning of 02/27/2020
Estimated wind chill - morning of 02/27/2020

We’ll stay gusty at times and cold through Saturday, but with warmer air gradually coming back into the picture by the tail end of the weekend. In fact, the first week of March looks quite warm as the jet stream retreats farther to the north.

Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for the first week of March 2020
Climate Prediction Center temperature outlook for the first week of March 2020

Eventually, a strong cold front will form along the jet stream and produce some storms to our west. We’ll have to watch that by the mid-to-later part of next week.


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