Warmer winters! We’re tracking fewer subfreezing nights than we used to

(Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of Beyond The Forecast!

Despite some recent cold mornings, it’s been a relatively warm winter overall. We know this by tracking how many nights have dipped to the freezing point or below this season.

Roanoke has had a low temperature of 32 degrees or lower on 42 nights this winter. This ranks as the 11th fewest freezes to this point in the season on record.

For perspective, the record fewest freezes in a single season in the Star City was 54 in 2019-2020.

There have been a few more subfreezing nights in Lynchburg, Danville and Blacksburg.

(Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Climate Central tells us that the average subfreezing nights has decreased since 1970 in Roanoke.

We used to get nearly 100 nights at or below 32 degrees. We now drop to freezing around 70 times each winter.

(Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

This change might sound like good news to some of you. If we’re not dropping to freezing as much, we don’t have to use the ice scraper on our windshields as often.

However, there are some negative impacts to our warmer winters, including earlier blooms and pollen, more bugs and less snow for winter recreation.

(Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

There is a chance some of us wake up to frost Tuesday morning, but the general trend this week is for warmer mornings.

In fact, we’re forecasting lows nearly 20 degrees above-average at times. The average low this time of year in Roanoke is 29 degrees.

(Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Following a cold front, we’ll see cold air return over the upcoming weekend. Meteorologist Chris Michaels is tracking whether we’ll warm back up in time for Valentine’s Day in our daily forecast article.

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Southside, the Highlands, or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather and science content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:

If you prefer your weather information delivered by social media, you can follow Your Local Weather Authority on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also keep up with me on social media. I’m on Facebook and Twitter, follow along!

– Justin McKee