Beyond The Forecast: Cuddle alerts likely for your Valentine’s date night!

Happy Monday! It’s the season of love in Southwest and Central Virginia as Valentine’s Day is coming up this weekend.

You’re probably already planning how you will spend your time with that special someone in your life, so we want to give an early look at what kind of weather we could potentially be dealing with.

Before I get to the forecast, let’s take a look at the “weather extremes” for the holiday in Roanoke. We have data back to 1912 for the Star City.

The coldest Valentine’s Day on record happened just five years ago! The mercury bottomed out at 9 degrees Fahrenheit on that day and we received one inch of snow. On the flip side, Cupid visited Roanoke Valley lovers in 1990 with 70+ degree warmth. Temperatures ran 20 to 25 degrees above-average on that day.

This may surprise some of you, but Roanoke hasn’t been all that snowy on Valentine’s Day. Only 8 percent of Feb. 14′s have had measurable snowfall. The snowiest one happened way back in 1970, when 5.4 inches of the white stuff was measured in the city.

If you want to talk about snow depth instead of snowfall, it paints a slightly whiter picture. 16% of Valentine’s Days have had 1 inch of snow on the ground.

Speaking of snow, we can’t completely rule out the potential for wintry mischief on Sunday. One long-range model (the GFS) is hinting at a chance of rain, snow or a wintry mix, while the other (the European) is dry. We’ll be tracking this as the week progresses.

Some of you won’t have a Valentine this year, so we have the forecast for those celebrating “Singles Awareness Day” too. Spoiler alert, the forecast is the exact same!

While the models are not aligned on precipitation chances for the holiday, we are feeling good about the potential for a blast of Arctic air. It probably won’t be as cold as that frosty Valentine’s Day in 2016, but you’ll definitely want to give your sweetie a few extra hugs to keep them warm!

It’s a cuddle alert *watch* at the moment, we’ll upgrade this to a *warning* as the weekend gets closer!

It may be an active week leading up to the lovefest this weekend! Meteorologist Chris Michaels has a deep dive into a couple shots at wintry precipitation in our daily forecast article.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg area, the New River Valley or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather and science content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

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-- Justin McKee


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