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.
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°.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More info can be found here.