ROANOKE, Va. – The heat index crept above 100° at times in the eastern half of the area Wednesday afternoon. This sort of heat shows no signs of slowing down. With a couple more hours of dry time Thursday, afternoon temperatures will creep toward, if not slightly above, record highs.
When you factor in the humidity, the heat index will reach 100 to 105° in areas like the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg area and Southside.
Please, if you have to work outside, drink plenty of water (and electrolytes), seek shade and take frequent breaks in the A/C. Never leave a living thing in a hot car. Check on the elderly to make sure they’re cool and that their A/C is working. Avoid playground surfaces, as they tend to get very hot. Avoid walking barefoot on concrete or asphalt, as these surfaces absorb heat too in direct sunlight.
The only hope of cooling down Thursday afternoon comes in the form of very sporadic downpours. The coverage of storms will be less than what we’ve seen in the last two days.
By Friday, we’re back at it again. Highs will reach the upper 80s to near 90° in the NRV, upper 80s and lower 90s in the Highlands, and middle to possibly upper 90s in the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg and Southside.
Once again, the heat index will creep toward or above 100° in the eastern half of the area. A front to the north will hog most of the showers and storms, while we’ll be left with some of the scraps. Only hit-or-miss showers and storms are expected later in the day.
As this front gets closer, it will become the catalyst for more numerous showers and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening. We’ll still be hot prior to these storms, so be sure to watch out for a few strong-to-severe ones.
Come Sunday, a breeze out of the east and northeast will keep the high heat out of the mix. We’ll still be dodging showers and storms on a scattered basis, with most targeting areas west of the Parkway.
At this point, we’ll be monitoring the position of Fred. If this storm can force our front back north, we’ll be looking at 1-4″ of rain between Monday and Wednesday of next week (most coming Tuesday). If, however, our front shoves Fred farther south - we won’t see as much rain.
Keep checking back with us for updates on this part of the forecast, as it is highly subject to change depending on Fred’s exact path.