Calm weather Thursday, Friday precedes strong cold front Saturday

Rain, wind, snow and bitter wind chills are all fair game throughout the day Saturday

ROANOKE, Va. – A front stalled to our east and high pressure over the Plains will keep a weak wedge in place throughout much of the day Thursday. This means more clouds and below-average temperatures by the afternoon. Most of us see highs reach about 49-54°.

High temperature forecast for Thursday, 3/10/2022

Come Friday, however, that wedge breaks up a bit. A southerly breeze pushes our temperatures up into the 60s under a mix of clouds and sunshine.

High temperature forecast for Friday, 3/11/2022

Don’t get used to that, though. A strong cold front will be moving through the area Saturday.

This first brings widespread rain late Friday night into Saturday morning. Some of these showers will be heavy, though the threat for severe weather mainly stays in the Carolinas where the air will be warmer.

What we're tracking around 4 a.m. Saturday, 3/12/2022

A rush of cold air moves in behind this front, with a northwest wind targeting the mountains with snow. Those of us outside the mountains may see a brief burst of snow from midday onward, but it’s unlikely to cause many issues.

Winter fights back throughout the day Saturday

The main things to watch for Saturday will be the wind and the cold. Gusts of 30-50 mph will be possible during the afternoon and evening, leading to wind chills in the single digits and teens.

Projected wind chills Saturday afternoon and evening

We’re cautiously optimistic that any precipitation will be out of the Roanoke Valley by 11 a.m. Saturday for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. If you plan on heading out, you’ll need to dress warmly!

St. Patrick's Day parade planner - downtown Roanoke

Temperatures Sunday morning fall into the teens and lower 20s, leading to a hard freeze. Keep in mind that our average last freeze isn’t until mid-to-late April.

That said, the temperature roller coaster goes in the opposite direction for most of next week, with above average temperatures expected most (not all) afternoons.

Climate Prediction Center 6-10 day temperature outlook

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.