Heat, humidity will not stay socially distant Friday; storms develop

The heat index will exceed 100° in parts of the area prior to any storms that develop.

Peak heat index before any storms develop Friday afternoon

ROANOKE, Va. – If it were possible for heat and humidity to stay six feet apart, we would like for that to happen. Stepping outside this morning is like adding an extra layer of clothes. That kind of humidity lingers throughout the day.

Side-note: Roanoke has hit 90° each of the last 16 days. That’s the 4th-longest stretch of 90° heat on record in the Star City.

Combine that humidity with air temperatures peaking in the upper 80s and low to mid 90s, and it won’t feel very good.

High temperature and peak heat index forecast for Friday afternoon

If you have to be outside, please listen to your body. Take frequent breaks. Drink plenty of water. Seek shade. It absolutely goes without saying that we should never leave a living thing in a hot car.

This kind of heat and humidity, along with a front nearby, is a recipe for storms. A few isolated downpours will be possible throughout the morning. As storms develop in West Virginia around Noon, they’ll venture toward Interstate 64 shortly thereafter. Storms will then continue to pop up, with most concentrated near and north of U.S. 460 between 2 and 4 p.m.

FutureTracker - 2 p.m. Friday

Some strong-to-severe storms will be possible, especially late in the afternoon and early in the evening in areas south of U.S. 460.

FutureTracker - 6 p.m. Friday

Main impacts with any storms include torrential rain, frequent lightning, and the possibility of localized wind damage and/or hail.

Main storm threats for Friday afternoon

Once any storms pass, it is going to be very muggy. Make sure you pack the bug spray if you plan on staying outdoors for the evening. While you’re out there, we hope you’ll get some breaks in the clouds.

NEOWISE will be visible in the northwest sky once again. Do your best to get away from city lights. Understand that it’s going to appear dimmer than what you see in many pictures on social media. Those pictures are all taken with long exposure cameras.

When to view the NEOWISE comet Friday

Heading into the weekend, our front that produces today’s storms will stay an extra day. This will provide the focal point for more showers and storms Saturday afternoon. The best chance, at the moment, appears to be in areas near and south of U.S. 460. Once again, a couple stronger storms cannot be ruled out.

FutureTracker wide view for Saturday afternoon

Have a Plan B Saturday, in case you get storms where you area. The chance for storms goes down as the front dissipates Sunday. High temperatures Sunday will likely be in the low to mid 90s as a result.

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.