UPDATE 9:20 Am, 7/13: Most of the rain has stayed along and west of the Interstate 77 corridor through the night and morning, but a few showers to the east will move north through the Roanoke and New River valleys this morning. (Latest radar linked here.) Drizzly, damp weather has also developed along parts of the Blue Ridge as easterly winds bank some moisture against the higher terrain. That “wedge” effect is likely to keep cloudiness overhead and temperatures below normal today in much of our region, with highs no higher than 80 most places. END UPDATE
This summer “cool” snap is going to peak in the next couple of , maybe stretching into Saturday, with cloudy, damp weather very much in contrast with the sunny, hot weather of a week ago. Easterly winds circulating around high pressure to the north will bank moist breezes from the Atlantic up against our mountains, and that will lead to an increasing “wedge” effect today and Friday. This often brings mostly cloudy skies and below normal temperatures to the region east of Interstate 77 and the Virginia-West Virginia line. With a few breaks in the clouds, highs might (MIGHT, I said) make 80 in the Roanoke Valley and areas east and south, but probably won’t get that high on Friday. West of Roanoke, expect 70s highs — perhaps even a few stuck in the upper 60s on Friday, if rain develops early. Meanwhile, moisture will also be streaming northeastward from the Gulf of Mexico over that front that has been stalled all week to our south, which will start lifting northward again before it washes out. Heavy rain is expected over the next 3 days to our west in Tennessee and Kentucky, and it’s possible upslope easterly flow may enhance showers especially on Friday along the Blue Ridge as well. We have moisture moving at us from two different directions, a complicated interplay of rain-enhancing upslope and air-drying downslope wind flow across the region, and a sluggish yet fickle frontal boundary, so rain totals will vary and be hard to predict for any given location across western Virginia. But cloudiness, atypically cool temperatures for mid-July and damp to wet conditions will be theme for the next 48-72 hours, before a humid warm-up begins.