ROANOKE, Va. – A substantial heat wave for the entire area has been a record one for the Roanoke Valley. Wednesday’s high temperature of 96° is the 22nd consecutive high of 90° or above in the valley, making this its longest heat wave on record (tied with 1966).
If storms start up earlier than they did Wednesday, that record could be in jeopardy Thursday.
Heat, humidity and energy left from the past few days of storms will be enough to spark more scattered showers and thunderstorms as soon as 11 a.m. or Noon. Storms will become more numerous as we progress throughout the day and into the evening.
Once again, anything that forms will have the opportunity to become strong-to-severe. Localized wind damage, localized flooding and a storm or two with hail remain fair game.
By Friday, the threat for any stronger storms will be closer to the North Carolina-Virginia line. A front sagging southward will be the focal point of showers and storms in the afternoon and evening.
High pressure begins to build in the central U.S., which will promote more sinking air. This leads to a process known as compressional heating.
In Layman’s terms, it’s going to get a few degrees hotter throughout the weekend.
Meanwhile, there are two tropical systems offshore. Gonzalo formed Wednesday east of the Caribbean, and Tropical Depression 8 formed in the Gulf of Mexico. The latter will briefly become Tropical Storm Hanna, according to the National Hurricane Center, before making landfall along Texas’ Gulf Coast.
Neither of these systems pose a direct or immediate threat to our area at the moment.