Spring-like warmth continues ahead of season’s official start date

Temperatures across much of the area reach the 70s Friday and Saturday

ROANOKE, Va. – The warmth on St. Patrick’s Day was a precursor to what we’ll feel Friday and Saturday.

A southerly breeze helps pump in the warmth Friday afternoon with highs reaching the upper 60s in the mountains and low to mid 70s elsewhere.

High temperature forecast for Friday, 3/18/2022

Clouds will increase throughout the day, as we track a strong cold front to the west. This will produce severe weather in areas south and west of here. By Friday night and Saturday morning, all that’s left are a few scattered, light rain showers.

FutureTracker - 8 a.m. Saturday

The front passes, but the cold air is delayed. Instead, we get a gusty wind to come down the mountains Saturday. This process of downsloping dries up the air and makes it warmer.

Downsloping promotes warmer, drier air Saturday afternoon

Highs reach well into the 70s outside the higher elevations Saturday afternoon.

High temperature forecast for Saturday, 3/19/2022

Eventually, the cooler air catches up to us by Sunday. We start with temperatures in the 40s and end up with highs in the 50s in the mountains and 60s elsewhere.

Cooler, more refreshing air moves in by Sunday, 3/20/2022

It’s almost ironic that we cool off a bit on the first day of spring. Spring will have officially sprung around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, when the sun’s rays go directly over the equator (the equinox).

Spring equinox - Sunday, 3/20/2022

We’ll warm up early next week before a strong storm system brings the chance for heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday.

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