Rain, the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg claims, should start falling around 3:45 am Thursday and stop a little after 6:30 am.
Don’t bet on much of the wet stuff falling. The serious rain storms should fall to the North and Eat of our part of the Commonwealth. By 7:00 pm Thursday, NWS forecasts the rain will stop, gusts of wind hitting 20 miles per hour with temperatures rising to mid or upper 40s.
We can expect wind gusts of 22 mph or more Friday with partly cloudy conditions and snow, followed by a sunny Saturday with a 48-degree high and partly cloudy with temperatures in the high 50s Sunday.
If the forecasts turn into reality, Floyd, the New River Valley and Roanoke Valley should miss the bulk of thunderstorms, a pattern that has repeated itself for the past couple of weeks.
Roanoke Times weather guru Kevin Myatt thought we might face a rainy start of Spring but the storms because “coming together just a hair too late for significant impacts on the Roanoke/New River valleys and most of Southwest Virginia, continuing our recent mostly dry stretch into next week.”
The Roanoke area will most likely be stuck in a narrow zone largely skipped over by precipitation, with heavier rain over central and eastern Virginia on Thursday in association with the developing coastal low, and at least somewhat more consistent showers and perhaps even snow showers by Thursday afternoon and evening to the west in the far southwest corner of Virginia northward into West Virginia as a cold front is pushed through.
If the upper-low were maybe 24 hours earlier and dug farther southward, it would not be hard to envision a reprise of what we experienced last March 20-21, which was the second of our three March snow events of 2018. Even just a little earlier and it could at least rain more significantly on us. There is at least some chance that the rain shield with the coastal low extends a little farther west for more significant amounts than expected, but as of now, it appears rainfall under 1/4 inch, and probably even 1/10 of an inch, will be the norm in the area from Roanoke south along the Blue Ridge and westward through the New River Valley to the I-77 corridor. Amounts will increase rather steeply to the east, and less steeply to the west.
Myatt says our area has had only about 1/100th of an inch of rain over the past 10 days and the more dry than wet pattern “appears likely to continue with something less an a 1/4 inch total through at least Monday, which would an even two weeks of much-needed meager rainfall.”
The next storm system approaches late Monday into Tuesday. There’s a bit of uncertainty on how potent this will end up being, whether it will bring a soaking rain to end our relatively dry reprieve or just another round of showers that just sort of dampens things a bit. Also at least somewhat worth considering is whether enough cold air can wrap in on the backside of the storm by midweek for some wet snow potential, at least in higher elevations.
Did he say “some wet snow?” Myatt promised “a closer look at all that over the weekend.”
When I told that to the lady of our house, she unleashed a string of Lebanese expletives that suggested that I should seek sexual comfort with a camel.
Or something along those lines.
I don’t speak Lebanese, which is probably a good thing.