ROANOKE, Va. – Since battering the southwest coast of Louisiana Thursday, Laura has weakened to a tropical depression. This will still soak parts of Tennessee and Kentucky before affecting us Saturday.
Until then, we’ll keep the heat and humidity around. Like Thursday, highs Friday will reach the upper 80s and lower 90s. The added humidity will make it feel hotter than that prior to any storms.
A few storms will fire up after about 2 p.m. near Grayson, Carroll, Wythe and Bland Counties. These will move northeast in a scattered fashion throughout the afternoon and evening. Anything that pops could turn strong in the heat of the day.
Moisture east of Laura will keep some storms alive into the night, but most any storms will shift north and west of here after midnight or 1 a.m.
As the remnants of Laura inch closer to us, the heavier rain and gustier wind start to take shape. The worst of our weather, therefore, is expected to move from west to east between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.
While things will move pretty quickly, there will be some pockets of intense rain. Localized flooding will be possible along with a few downed limbs in any stronger storm.
The threat for severe weather is slightly higher east of the Blue Ridge Parkway after about 11 a.m. Saturday. If any stronger storm can tap into the spin generated by Laura, we could see a brief tornado.
A front will guide Laura’s remnants out to sea later in the evening into Sunday, which is good news for us. This will start a brief drop in humidity that will keep Sunday feeling very nice.
Overall, Sunday is the pick day of the weekend. If you have any evening plans Saturday, they should be good to go too. Just make sure you have multiple ways to receive weather information as storms have the chance to turn strong or severe early on.
Beyond the weekend, Monday looks much cooler and cloudier. Highs only manage to get into the 70s, as high pressure north of us wedges in the clouds and occasional rain showers.