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Meteorological Fall begins Tuesday; summer heat returns Wednesday

By some definitions, it’s fall. The weather, however, isn’t ready for that just yet.

Meteorological fall starts September 1 every year
Meteorological fall starts September 1 every year

ROANOKE, Va. – I know what you’re thinking. “The fall I know doesn’t start until later in the month.” Some of you may have commented on our social media post before opening this article. Meteorological seasons run differently.

Starting a season on the first of the month makes it easier and more consistent for record-keeping, as opposed to starting fall on the 20th one year, the 22nd another year, etc.

Average highs throughout meteorological fall
Average highs throughout meteorological fall

The seasons we’ve all grown up with are astronomical seasons and relate to the sun’s position relative to certain latitude points on Earth.

Your Local Forecast

We won’t be quite as cool as we were Monday, but temperatures will still be a few degrees shy of the average for early September. More clouds stick around with the best chance for afternoon storms in the mountains.

Zone by zone storm chances for Tuesday
Zone by zone storm chances for Tuesday

We’ll see some fog develop overnight into Wednesday. Once that lifts, so do our temperatures. Summer heat says, “Forget your meteorological fall!” That heat, combined with the humidity, is going to keep the heat index high in half of the area.

Wednesday's temperature and heat index
Wednesday's temperature and heat index

Given that kind of heat and humidity, the storms that develop between 2 and 8 p.m. can become strong-to-severe. While we don’t expect an outbreak, a few storms will pack a punch Wednesday afternoon as they move from west to east.

Marginal risk for severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening
Marginal risk for severe thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening

We’ll keep the heat, the humidity and the daily shot for showers and storms in the forecast Thursday and Friday with a front lingering close by.

What we're tracking from Wednesday through Friday
What we're tracking from Wednesday through Friday

Once that front clears the area, humidity levels and afternoon temperatures will drop a little bit in time for Labor Day weekend.

Tracking dew points (moisture levels) the next few days
Tracking dew points (moisture levels) the next few days

Saturday and Sunday will be mostly nice with a mix of clouds and sunshine. Temperatures range from the 70s in the New River Valley to 80-85° elsewhere.

Tropics Update

As is typically the case this time of year, the tropical Atlantic is very active. Tropical Depression 15 formed Monday, but it is not forecast to strengthen and become ’Nana.’

Tropical Depression 15
Tropical Depression 15

Another disturbance has a high chance of developing and moving toward Central America. That will likely be named Omar at some point. Another disturbance near Africa has a low chance of developing at the moment.


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