Getting ready for rainy and cold days ahead

Feeling more like winter in the last weeks of the season

ROANOKE, Va. – Thursday is the most pleasant day in the forecast until late next week. Plenty of sunshine, a light breeze, and mild temperatures keep it comfortable for any errands or just spending time enjoying the day.

Thursday is a great day to spend outdoors

The mild weather leaves us tonight. Temperatures fall back into the 30s for lows. These lows are warmer than Thursday by only a few degrees. Clouds build Thursday evening with rain coming after midnight.

Lows are slightly warmer Friday morning than Thursday morning

Rain is widespread by Friday morning. Temperatures are cold enough in our northern counties that some wintry mix or even snow could fall. Accumulations are light, but be extra careful driving early Friday.

Rain is widespread Friday morning with some snow in the Highlands

By the early afternoon most of us are done with rain. Some isolated showers stick around. If you need to get out Friday waiting until the afternoon will pay off.

By the afternoon rain is done for most of us

Cooler temperatures make it possible for some snow to stack up on our far northern slopes, but most of the snow is outside of our region.

Some snow builds on western slopes Friday evening

Rain totals are rather light Friday with most accumulations under a quarter of an inch. A few spots get more but still stay under half an inch.

Rain totals are under half an inch Friday

We have a short break from rain before another system arrives Sunday. That rain is more consistent than Friday’s with higher rain totals.

Two rainy days ahead keep temperatures on the cool side

High pressure keeps Saturday mostly dry. Clouds are still thick with just a bit of sun in the afternoon. Winds are high early in the day behind Friday’s front.

Some clouds stick around Saturday, but we mostly stay dry

Sunday’s rain starts later but is more consistent than Friday’s. Some ice and snow develop in the mountains, but for most of us this system stays liquid. Temperatures are limited to the 40s because of the clouds and rain.

Sunday's rain is more consistent than Friday's

One benefit of our coming rain is less pollen in the air. Allergy sufferers have better conditions Friday and Saturday. Pollen spreads out easily early Sunday before the rain arrives.

Rain brings Friday's pollen count down, but since rain comes late Sunday there's time for pollen to spread earlier on

With all of the fronts and incoming cold air in the week ahead temperatures are consistently below average. So much of the winter stayed above average making this one of the longer cold stretches so far.

Temperatures since the start of the year were generally above average, but cooler weather lasts through the middle of March

Below-average air sticks around through the end of the season. We are slightly drier than average for the next few weeks.

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