Cold front to bring high wind gusts, spring freeze to parts of the area

Tuesday’s 70s are a thing of the past, now that Wednesday’s cold front is passing through

Peak wind gusts - Wednesday, 4/21/2021

ROANOKE, Va. – Spring cold fronts do happen, and when they do - they mean business. Highs Tuesday reached into the 70s, and we won’t see that warmth again until early next week.

In fact, temperatures will fall from the 50s to the 40s in the mountains. Temperatures in the Roanoke Valley will hold steady in the low to mid 50s. Lynchburg and Southside will go from 60s to a few degrees lower by the afternoon.

Zone by zone planner - Wednesday, 4/21/2021

The wind will pick up once the front passes through the area by midday. Expect gusts to peak between 35 and 45 mph in areas near and to the west of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Peak wind gusts - Wednesday, 4/21/2021

As colder air above mixes down to the surface, we’ll see temperatures drop to about 30-35° by Thursday morning. (Check here for the latest frost and freeze alerts.) Make sure your plants are brought in or covered up. Give the pets a warm place for the night. Disconnect the garden hose, and check your tire pressure.

Gardening forecast - Thursday morning, 4/22/2021

When you combine that cold air with the gusty wind, the wind chill Thursday morning will likely be in the 20s until at least sunrise. Make sure to bundle up! Highs Thursday will only be in the 50s.

Wind chill forecast for Thursday morning, 4/22/2021

Once the wind calms down at night, a more widespread freeze and frost concern may develop by Friday morning. High pressure, however, will play to our advantage Friday afternoon. We’ll reach back into the 50s and 60s under a partly cloudy sky.

What we're tracking - Friday, 4/23/2021

After 11 a.m. or Noon Saturday, expect a soaking rain to develop with low pressure riding up from the south. The severe thunderstorm threat should stay farther south, where the air will be warmer and more humid.

What we're tracking - Saturday, 4/24/2021

Once this system passes, the wind picks up and we’ll turn drier by Sunday. High temperatures will be in the 60s.

What we're tracking - 4/25/2021

We turn even warmer for the first half of next week, as a strong ridge of high pressure builds over the Eastern U.S.

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.