New Year brings near-record warmth and light snow potential within 36 hours

A pair of storms bring much-needed rain with a light amount of wintry weather on the back-end.

Big changes on the way in a short amount of time

ROANOKE, Va. – 2021 was one of the warmest years on record in Roanoke and Lynchburg, and it appears as though 2022 is going to start off on that foot as well. After morning rain drifts north, a breeze from the southwest gives our temperatures a nudge to near-record territory.

Highs in the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley and Highlands will reach 65-70°, while Lynchburg and Southside reach about 70-75°.

Near-record warmth expected New Year's Day

This comes ahead of a line of rain that will have produced severe weather in the Tennessee River Valley Saturday afternoon. By Saturday night, this line is weaker. However, it will still contain some wind gusts and perhaps some thunder too.

FutureTracker - 12 a.m. on 1/2/2022

This line moves east through early Sunday morning, while temperatures remain in the 60s.

FutureTracker - 3 a.m. on 1/2/2022

Most high temperatures reach the low to mid 60s Sunday afternoon, as cold air lags behind our front. As colder air catches up, a second area of low pressure rides in from the Ohio River Valley.

This allows snow to mix in late Sunday night into Monday morning. We start as rain and end as a rain/snow mix in areas along and east of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

FutureTracker - 11 p.m. on 1/2/2022

Given the warm and wet ground, it’s going to be tough for much to accumulate out of this. Ridges above 3,000 feet may see more than an inch of snow, but the rest of us see anywhere from a dusting to an inch at most on the grass.

What to expect out of a rain/snow mix Sunday night into Monday morning

We turn much colder Monday following gusty wind in the morning. Highs reach the 40s and 50s, and lows reach the 20s and 30s all next week. This is a sign of a pattern shift that favors more frequent cold snaps through at least mid-January.

Pattern shift toward more frequent cold snaps through at least Mid-January

For updates on the forecast, make sure to download our app.

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.