Another round of weather whiplash means spring warmth Friday, bitter winter chill Saturday

A strong cold front brings high wind, bitter cold and mostly mountain snow Saturday

A strong cold front takes us from spring to winter in 24 hours

ROANOKE, Va. – If there’s one piece of advice we can give you, it’s to enjoy Friday. Big changes are in the forecast for the upcoming weekend.

A breeze from the south will take our morning temperatures in the 30s and turn them into 60s by the afternoon Friday.

High temperature forecast for Friday, 3/11/2022

A strong cold front moves in Saturday.

Moisture ahead of the front starts as rain early in the morning. Some pockets may be heavy, but the worst of the weather forms along a line of storms that moves through the Carolinas.

What we're tracking by 4 a.m. Saturday

As cold air rushes in, we could all see a few bursts of snow through midday. However, the best chance for more persistent snow is going to be along the favored west-facing slopes into the afternoon and evening.

What we're tracking by 11 a.m. Saturday

This means periods of snow for the Highland County Maple Festival. The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Roanoke will be cold, but I think it will be mostly dry (with the exception of some scattered snow flurries/showers in the wind). Lastly, it will be very cold and windy for the fundraiser for NRV Cares at Eastern Divide Brewing Company Saturday afternoon.

Activity planner for Saturday, 3/12/2022

That’s going to be the main impact with this storm - the wind. It is going to be howling at times Saturday!

Sustained wind speeds will be around 15 to 30 mph, and gusts will peak between roughly 30 and 50 mph. Make sure to secure any loose objects, such as trampolines, hanging baskets, basketball nets, lightweight trash cans, etc.

Wind speed and wind gust forecast for Saturday, 3/12/2022

As cold air rushes in, that wind is going to make it feel nasty. Wind chills Saturday afternoon into Saturday night will be in the single digits and teens. Hope you didn’t put away the hat and gloves just yet.

Projected wind chills late Saturday afternoon

The wind backs off a little bit heading into Sunday morning, as temperatures drop to near-record territory in parts of the area.

Near-record low temperatures Sunday morning, 3/13/2022

While this is unusually cold for this time of March, it is a reminder that we still do fall below freezing this time of year. Our average last freeze doesn’t come until mid-to-late April.

Average last spring happens in mid to late April

That said, we quickly turn the corner next week. Cool mornings will be followed by mostly warmer afternoons. With the exception of Wednesday, most days next week will reach the 60s.

Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 day outlooks through 3/20/2022

The Climate Prediction Center’s 6 to 10 day outlook takes us through the first day of spring, and it shows mostly above average warmth with a few chances to get wet as well.

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.