80ºF

Tying the longest heat wave on record before strong storms Wednesday

Stormy weather brings relief to dry spell, but also could down some trees the next 2-3 days.

Wednesday afternoon/evening's severe weather outlook
Wednesday afternoon/evening's severe weather outlook

ROANOKE, Va. – Wednesday brings another round of 90° heat to the region, which brings up a milestone for the Roanoke Valley. This will mark 22 straight days of 90° heat, which ties the record for longest heat wave set back in 1966. The New River Valley has only hit 90° three times this year, whereas Danville and Lynchburg have been hitting it with a fair amount of regularity recently too.

Prior to any storms Wednesday, we’ll go through the all-too-familiar trend of high heat and humidity. It will feel like we’re near the triple digits in places like Roanoke, Bedford, Lexington, Botetourt, Smith Mountain Lake, Rocky Mount, Martinsville, Lynchburg and Southside.

Temperature and heat index forecast prior to storms Wednesday
Temperature and heat index forecast prior to storms Wednesday

Once any storms come in, however, they’ll have some umph with them. Like we saw yesterday, any storms start out hit-or-miss in nature and will throw out a lot of lightning. This could start as soon as 12-2 p.m. in parts of the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley and/or Highlands.

FutureTracker - 2 p.m. Wednesday
FutureTracker - 2 p.m. Wednesday

As we head deeper into the afternoon and early evening hours, more storms will fire up especially north of U.S. 460.

FutureTracker - Late PM/early evening Wednesday
FutureTracker - Late PM/early evening Wednesday

Anything that forms Wednesday could turn strong-to-severe. The main threats would be localized wind damage, localized flooding and small hail.

Storm threats for Wednesday afternoon and evening
Storm threats for Wednesday afternoon and evening

By Thursday, a front will be closer to the region. That, combined with our heat and humidity, will set off another round of showers and storms. Once again, any of these could turn strong-to-severe.

FutureTracker - Thursday afternoon
FutureTracker - Thursday afternoon

If there is any time in the near future that could snap the 90° streak in Roanoke, it would be Thursday or Friday. It all depends on cloud cover and exactly when storms decide to pop.

By the weekend, high pressure to our west will result in hotter air building up.

What We're Tracking this weekend
What We're Tracking this weekend

We’ll get back into the low to mid 90s across much of the area by then with limited storm chances.


About the Author: