65ºF

BAD HAIR ALERT: Humidity, storm chances, heat index on the rise

Mid-July lives up to its reputation of heat, high humidity, scattered storms and a higher heat index at times

Plenty of bad hair days on the way
Plenty of bad hair days on the way

ROANOKE, Va. – It wouldn’t be mid-July without heat, humidity, a high heat index and the daily shot for showers and storms, right?

What’s impressive is the seemingly never-ending stretch of 90° heat in parts of the area. Specifically, Roanoke has hit that mark for the last 15 straight days. That’s one of the longest stretches of 90° heat on record.

Days of 90° heat vs. days below 90° in July 2020 - Roanoke
Days of 90° heat vs. days below 90° in July 2020 - Roanoke

If there’s any day that jeopardizes that hot streak, it’s Thursday. We’ll see more clouds and the occasional pop-up showers and storms. Otherwise, expect it to be quite muggy with highs area-wide around 86-92°.

FutureTracker - Thursday afternoon
FutureTracker - Thursday afternoon

By Friday, we’ll be tracking a slow-moving front from the northwest. This will serve as a boundary for storms to develop, which could happen as early as 9-11 a.m. in parts of the Roanoke and New River Valleys.

FutureTracker - midday Friday
FutureTracker - midday Friday

Heading deeper into Friday afternoon, the threat for scattered storms is greater south of U.S. 460. This will likely be the trend Saturday too, as the front meanders around.

FutureTracker - Friday afternoon
FutureTracker - Friday afternoon

Without the presence of storms, however, things are going to get really hot.

The heat index will reach between 95 and 100° in the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg and Southside. Parts of Rockbridge County could feel that kind of heat as well. The heat index throughout the New River Valley and Highlands will be in the upper 80s and lower 90s at times too.

Forecast temperature and heat index for Friday afternoon
Forecast temperature and heat index for Friday afternoon

The one-two punch of heat and humidity carries over into the weekend. As mentioned above, the location of our meandering front will determine who has a better chance of scattered storms Saturday. At the moment, that looks like areas near and south of U.S. 460.

Weekend forecast for July 18, 19 of 2020
Weekend forecast for July 18, 19 of 2020

Side Note

Keep looking up for the NEOWISE comet. Cloud debris after storms may get in the way of your view. The good news is that it will still be visible through July 23rd.

When and where to look for NEOWISE
When and where to look for NEOWISE

More info can be found here.


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