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How to spot Tuesday’s Wallops Island rocket launch from Southwest, Central Virginia

Minotaur I launch visibility (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of Beyond The Forecast!

We’ve had a few rocket launches to enjoy recently and there’s another one planned for Tuesday morning that you can check out!

The Minotaur I rocket is scheduled to launch at 7 a.m. from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. It will carry a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the U.S. Space Force (USSF) will provide launch services for the mission.

The rocket is 69-feet tall and was built by Northrop Grumman. The mission is named NROL-11 and will be the third small launch USSF mission, as well as the NRO’s second launch from Wallops this year.

The National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia is forecasting a 40% chance of rain at launch time on Wallops Island, so let’s hope the showers stay away!

Minotaur I rocket launch forecast (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

We will have a good chance to see the rocket (if it launches) in Southwest and Central Virginia! You’ll want to look to the east 30 to 90 seconds after the scheduled launch at 7 a.m.

Our local forecast is good for that time! We’ll have mostly clear skies and temperatures in the 60s.

Future Tracker Tuesday 7 a.m. (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Let us know if you catch a glimpse of the rocket! You can share photos via the Pin It feature on the Your Local Weather Authority app.

You can also stream the launch on the NASA Wallops YouTube channel.

Switching gears to today’s forecast, it will be a hot and breezy one across the area. The big local weather story is a drop in humidity in the coming days! Chris Michaels has a look at what you can expect 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:

Annular solar eclipse will dazzle for some on Thursday morning

GALLERY: Sunday’s storms create ominous sky, plenty of lightning

If you prefer your weather information delivered by social media, you can follow Your Local Weather Authority on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also keep up with me on social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, follow along!

-- Justin McKee


About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.