Weather Authority Alert Day issued for Wednesday, March 20 lifted

A critical fire risk was in place for Wednesday due to high winds and dry conditions

Weather Authority Alert Day All Clear

ROANOKE, Va.Wednesday Evening Update

The Weather Authority Alert Day issued for Wednesday, March 20 has expired.


Wednesday Afternoon Update

High winds continue through the afternoon. The gusts combine with dry ground to present a fire risk across our region. Be sure to avoid any burning outdoors both on Wednesday and Thursday.

While the threat is concentrated east all of us have some fire risk

Wind gusts drop in the late afternoon, but they stay high through midnight. Some wind even lingers into Thursday.

Winds are at their highest before 5:00 PM

The breeze on Thursday is noticeably calmer than on Wednesday. The lower wind helps to lower the fire risk. While the Alert Day is done before Thursday the fire risk drops more significantly later this week.

Wind speeds are much calmer early on Thursday

A new rain system brings showers late on Friday. That rain continues through the night into Saturday. With many of us getting more than an inch of rain the ground conditions improve nicely.

Showers at the end of the week help decrease the fire risk

Wednesday Morning Update

A Weather Authority Alert Day remains in place for Wednesday, due to a high threat of brush fires.

Some local burn bans have been issued, but a statewide burn ban is also in place each day until 4 p.m. through the end of April. (This happens annually.)

Fire weather warnings are in effect for areas shaded on the right side of the screen.

Wednesday’s wind gusts will reach 30 to 45 mph, while the humidity stays very low. The wind gradually eases later in the week.

Wind gusts will slowly ease later in the week.

While we aren’t technically in a drought, we welcome in the rain to extinguish the threat for fires late Friday into Saturday. In fact, the timing has been moved back more to where this becomes more of a Friday night/off-and-on Saturday ordeal.

Rain chances rise Friday evening into Saturday.

Latest forecasts data suggests rain totals of 0.75″ to 1.50” through Saturday.

Rain totals likely exceed an inch in the eastern half of the area through Saturday.

[DOWNLOAD OUR FREE WEATHER APP HERE to stay up to date on the threat for fires and the chance for weekend rain.]


Tuesday Evening Update

A Fire Weather Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. Critical fire weather conditions are expected to occur Wednesday.

Wind Gusts and Dry Humidity

High wind gusts and low humidity are making fire conditions more than favorable. Burns are not advised until conditions improve.

Peak gusts between 30-40mph

Winds will be sustained anywhere from 10-20 mph through the day, and will be gusting between 30-45 mph at times.

Low Relative Humidity

Relative humidity, which is a measure for the amount of moisture in the air is very low tomorrow. Values in the 20s and 30s are expected for all of tomorrow.

Critical Fire Weather

To recap, tomorrow will bring critical fire weather. Any fires that start will be difficult to control.

To stay up to date on all things weather, download our weather app.


About the Authors

Parker was born and raised in central Florida. He first became interested in the weather at a young age when Hurricane Charlie passed directly over his house on August 13th, 2004. Since that day, he knew he wanted to be a Meteorologist.

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.

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