UPDATE 7:40 AM: As radar shows, a band of showers has developed through much of the region, with some locations especially to the southwest of the Roanoke and New River valleys getting some rather generous amounts of rain topping an inch this morning. A cool, damp day appears to be on tap — it might not even make 80 where there are abundant showers and clouds this morning. Overall rain amounts this week probably will not be the multiple inches projected areawide a couple of days ago, but many are getting some welcome showers today after a hot, dry period, and some especially south and southwest of Roanoke are getting the rain they missed on Monday. END UPDATE
Sluggish fronts sinking southward in midsummer just aren’t that reliable. Last night, the front failed to push as far south as expected, and that left us with a somewhat hotter day than projected — 92 at Roanoke, the 12th straight 90-plus day, starting June 28. Now, it appears it might sink just a little farther south an earlier thought, taking the best chances of rain with it. Rainfall amounts over the next couple of days are projected to generally be .25 to .50 inch in scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms, with a little more down toward the Virginia-North Carolina line. Stretch that out to 5 days, and the map doesn’t show nearly as much real estate in the southern half of Virginia in the 2-4-inch colors as it did over the weekend. Totals for the week ahead appear to be largely under 2 inches, and much of that may come late in the week with a resurgence of moisture on southerly winds as high pressure bringing the cooler air in slips out to sea.
The heat wave-busting cooler air has arrived on northerly to northeasterly winds behind the cold front, with highs only in the upper 70s to lower 80s projected over most of our area the next 3 or 4 days. Cooler air is more stable, though, so we won’t have quite as much heat to boil up afternoon showers and storms. Still, being as close to the front in the Carolinas as we are, waves moving along the front and modest daytime heating will have the potential to develop some rounds of showers and storms each day this week.