Whew! Hottest weather of 2020 (so far) likely to come Friday, 4th of July

The heat index could approach triple digits in a few spots by the 4th of July

Friday afternoon's high temperature forecast

ROANOKE, Va. – The hottest we’ve been this year naturally changes depending on where you are. Roanoke and Lynchburg have hit 93°, Southside has hit 91°, parts of the Highlands have hit 88° and the New River Valley has only gotten to 86° officially. (Keep in mind that this is not what your car thermometer or bank thermometer reads.)

While Thursday will be hot, the heat starts to dial it up a notch by Friday afternoon. Thankfully, the humidity will be reasonable and seasonable. However, there won’t be much of a breeze or any storms around to really cool things down.

This comes, as our storm track continues to shift to the south. A little added dose of humidity may lead to a few hit-or-miss thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon into the evening. Given the heat, any storm that develops could become strong and move slowly.

What We're Tracking - 4th of July 2020

Prior to any storms, it is going to get very hot on the 4th. High temperatures will likely be similar to Friday afternoon, with the NRV and Highlands around 85-90° and the rest of the area around 90-95°.

4th of July forecast 2020

When you factor in the humidity Saturday, it will feel a little hotter at times. Estimated heat index values may reach the 100° mark in parts of Southside and get fairly close toward Lynchburg, Campbell County and Appomattox County.

Projected heat index on the 4th of July

It’s important to remember, especially on a holiday weekend, to take care of your body. Make sure you’re drinking a lot water, seeking shade when necessary, and that you’re wearing lightweight/light-colored clothing. That brings me to my next point.

Darker colored objects absorb heat more efficiently than lighter colors. Keep your pets’ paws and your bare feet off the blacktop and concrete, as that will be much hotter than the air.

Heat on other ambient surfaces

Lastly, and this is goes without saying for most people, but never leave any living thing in a hot car. With air temperatures in the 90s, that car becomes dangerously hot within 10 to 20 minutes.

Car vs. air temperature in the summer months

Storm chances increase Sunday into early next week, as a weak area of low pressure rides near the East Coast. Temperatures will still generally be around 85-90° each day and 65-70° each night.


About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.