58ºF

Prolonged period of strong wind gusts, colder air and mountain snow expected

These next three days will serve as a harsh reminder that it is still winter after all

Peak wind gusts - 2/27/2020
Peak wind gusts - 2/27/2020

ROANOKE, Va. – Between this past weekend and the past two days, it’s fair if you caught spring fever already. However, the weather gives us a natural dose of ibuprofen and calms that down really quickly.

A cold front that moved through the region Wednesday night is responsible for the strong wind gusts, colder air and mountain snow we’re waking up to Thursday morning. With this wind and a saturated ground, it’s entirely possible that we see some sporadic power outages throughout the day Thursday.

Power outage meter for 2/27/2020
Power outage meter for 2/27/2020

The wind out of the next three days will be strongest Thursday, but we don’t expect outages to be a widespread issue.

Despite the sun Thursday, it’s going to be a cold one with highs in the 30s in the New River Valley and Highlands and 40s elsewhere. By Friday, we’ll be tracking what’s called a clipper system. These tend to clip us with gusty wind, cold air and mountain snow...again. These are not your honkin’ snowstorms that rise from the Gulf.

Given the energy this system has, it’s possible that we see some bursts of snow make it into the New River Valley and Roanoke Valley Friday night. The best chance for accumulation, however, will be in western Grayson, Wythe, Bland, Highland, Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties.

FutureTracker - 2/29/2020 at Midnight
FutureTracker - 2/29/2020 at Midnight

Following that, the air stays cold and the wind stays pretty gusty at times through Saturday. As high pressure drifts to the southeast, the wind shifts directions and pumps in some warmer air, making Sunday the pick day of the weekend.

Weekend Forecast - 02/29/2020 to 03/01/2020
Weekend Forecast - 02/29/2020 to 03/01/2020

As the jet stream continues to retreat north, the warmer air will continue to flow into the region through at least Wednesday of next week.

Upper Level Air Pattern - Tuesday, 03/03/2020
Upper Level Air Pattern - Tuesday, 03/03/2020

The dip in the jet farther to the west will allow a storm system to get going. It’s possible that we see severe weather to the west, with that front coming our way by Wednesday. We’ll keep the chance of an isolated shower in Monday, with rain (and perhaps storm) chances going up at times next Tuesday and Wednesday.


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