Big switch to end the week: rainy and mild to dry and cold

St. Patrick’s Day’s rain is light, but the cold behind the front is strong

High pressure sends warm, moist air towards the cold front which lifts it to form rain

ROANOKE, Va. – We don’t have a particularly nice day from now until the weekend. You either have to deal with rain when we have warm temperatures or lots of cold when we have sunshine.

Friday's rain keeps temperatures comfortable before drier but colder weather arrives

Showers are limited to Friday. Rain moved into the NRV shortly before sunrise, and it takes until pretty late in the day for us to dry up.

Showers are light and scattered at midday

Showers are widespread but light consistently through noon. I wouldn’t recommend sitting outside to have lunch, but if you’re headed to a restaurant the drive itself is not bad.

There is an early afternoon break from rainfall

Showers take a bit of a break in the early afternoon. By 3:00 PM they start building back in the northwest. Showers continue across the region until 6:00 PM.

Showers are still widespread by 6:00 PM, but coverage decreases in the following hours

After 6:00 PM showers both move far east and dry up. Blacksburg is done with rain around 8:00 PM, Roanoke around 9:00 PM, and most of us by 10:00 PM.

Rain totals stay below a quarter inch

Rain totals are light for all of us. The NRV and parts of the Highlands get above a tenth of an inch while staying under a quarter.

Cold starts coming our way tonight, but we hold on to enough heat to keep most of us above freezing

It might seem like a nice break once the rain lets up, but cold and wind swoop right in. Lows Saturday morning are cooler than Friday, but we hold on to at least a little heat. Saturday afternoon is more noticeably cold: highs are about 10 degrees cooler than Friday.

The front moving on lets cold, breezy air head right for us

The same system that helped bring warm air our way sends in the colder air this weekend. Temperatures start to improve once the front is further east and other air systems have more influence on our weather.

Winds pick up after midnight and stay breezy Saturday afternoon

Winds are mostly calm through Friday, but they climb up to 20 mph Saturday with gusts to 30 mph. These are lighter winds than some days so far this month. The breeze paired with cold air this weekend sends morning wind chills into the teens.

Both days this weekend are cold, but be sure to grab a good jacket Sunday

As chilly as these temperatures are we do have lots of sunshine to help take the edge off. The amount of sunshine during the day only increases between Monday and June.

Days are longer than 12 hours from Monday through September

The equinox on Monday gives every location about 12 hours of day and night. The Earth’s orbit puts the northern hemisphere more directly towards the sun from now until our next equinox in September. The longest day of the year is the summer solstice in June.

Once spring starts Monday our temperatures are on a gentle upward trend

Temperatures feel more spring-like once the season actually starts. Monday is a big improvement from Sunday, and we add a few more degrees each day through the end of the work week.

About the Author:

Marshall Downing presents the weather Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM, and you can see him during the week at 12:00 PM and 5:30 PM.