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Stay alert! Rain likely, few strong-to-severe storms possible through Thursday afternoon

The same storm that produced multiple tornadoes in the Deep South will bring the possibility of severe weather here Thursday

FutureTracker - Thursday afternoon
FutureTracker - Thursday afternoon

ROANOKE, Va. – Thursday morning has started with pockets of rain, which we hope will continue. The more rain and the cooler we are, the lesser the chance for severe storms will be. Any breaks in the rain or any breaks of sun will lead to a higher severe weather potential through Thursday afternoon.


Showers will likely continue off and on throughout the morning as a warm front slowly lifts north. Once that happens, any warm air (temps 60° or higher) will fuel the development of storms especially east of the Parkway. This should happen after 11 a.m. or Noon.

FutureTracker - early Thursday afternoon

Any thunderstorm that develops will have the chance to become strong or severe, thanks to the amount of wind energy above us. Stay weather aware throughout the afternoon, especially in areas from Roanoke/Botetourt/Rocky Mount east.

FutureTracker - Thursday afternoon

As our upper level system swings through, a few more hit-or-miss showers and storms may form during the evening in the NRV and Highlands. These would likely weaken as they move east.

FutureTracker - Thursday evening


While we don’t expect a severe weather outbreak, any thunderstorm that does form could wind up producing damaging wind gusts and/or rotation. Localized flooding is a possibility, given the amount of moisture we’ll be working with. The hail threat is only confined to the strongest of storms.

Storm threats - Thursday, 3/18/2021

Moving Forward

As our storm system moves slightly to the east, we’ll see some rain showers continue into Friday morning. Colder air up top may result in some tiny pieces of hail in the strongest showers.

FutureTracker - 5 a.m. Friday

As the colder air lowers, some snow and sleet may develop through the early afternoon. The air and ground temperature will be warm enough to where we don’t expect much, if any, accumulation outside of the mountains. This will more or less be a novelty.

FutureTracker - later in the morning Friday

We’ll see increasing sunshine Friday afternoon. As high pressure takes control of our weather, that will set us up with a nice weekend. Saturday will start out cold and end with highs in the 50s. Temperatures near 60° again by Sunday.

Weekend forecast for 3/19 to 3/21/2021

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About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.