ROANOKE, Va. – The much-anticipated Saharan dust arrived in our area yesterday, reducing air quality and providing daytime haze and nice color to our sunset. Thanks to all who shared photos of the sky as the dust rolled in. We expect the dust to be in place again today, so sensitive groups will want to be mindful during outdoor activities today.
Unfortunately, our sunrises and sunsets probably won’t be all that nice today, because we’ll have more clouds and scattered storms around. It appears the best chance of rain will come during the afternoon and evening. We’re forecasting rain chances at 60 percent overall.
Any of those storms later today could strengthen to severe levels, especially along and west of I-77. The primary threat appears to be damaging winds, but hail and isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out.
We trend drier but heat back up on Monday. Some areas will have a chance at 90 degrees during the afternoon. Look for temperatures to stay seasonable as we flip the calendar over to July this week.
Looking ahead to the weekend of July 4th, long-range models are hinting at a stormy pattern. The Climate Prediction Center has placed our region under a higher chance of above-normal precipitation. The forecast is still subject to change, but just be advised that we could contend with rain at times over the holiday.