A cold front swinging through our region Friday will bring an end to the early summer hot spell. Locations from Roanoke eastward might possibly crack 90 today, but the front will introduce cooler, drier westerly winds, and provide lift for an enhanced chance of thunderstorms as it pushes into the hot, humid air. A few severe storms are possible — a few occurred on Thursday, particularly one that blasted the Lynchburg airport with 61 mph wind gusts and caused wind damage and flooding in parts of that city. Normal temperatures for late June are generally mid 80s highs/mid 60s lows for Roanoke, and near 80 high/upper 50s lows for Blacksburg. We’ll be very close to those readings, if not a bit below a few days, as cooler air from the north and west noses in over the next week or so, reinforced by two or three cold fronts making their way south and east. At some point next week we could end up on the volatile edge between hot weather to the southwest and cool weather to the northeast, which could bring some storminess to the region. But for now, it appears most of the coming week will be dry.
Something that could change the game is what has a very good chance of becoming Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico. A flight is scheduled to examine the developing low-pressure center on Friday. There’s not much consensus now among forecast models on how strong this system will become or where it will go. Anyone with plans anywhere along the Gulf Coast, from Texas to Florida, should monitor this storm. Whether it will directly or indirectly affect Southwest Virginia weather is highly uncertain at this time.