Yesterday sure was a gloomy day across our area. We had a cold rain for much of the day accompanied by record cold temperatures for this time of year. Blacksburg, Roanoke, Danville, and Bluefield, W.Va., all experienced record minimum high temperatures on Monday, meaning maximum temperatures have never been this cold this early in October before.
I spoke with Kevin this morning, and he provided me these tidbits: Roanoke’s high of 47F yesterday beat the record low high of 49F from October 9, 1952. Blacksburg only reached 42F, making it the earliest 42F temperature since October 13, 1957.
Besides the record cold temperatures, the other big weather headline from yesterday was the first snow of the season! Snowflakes were reported near Dolly Sods, Snowshoe and Canaan Valley, W.Va. Here’s a picture from Twitter showing the snow falling at Snowshoe Mountain. Sure, it was only a dusting, but I’m sure the snow lovers were happy yesterday!
Today is a big improvement from yesterday. We’re still stuck in the clouds as that cold air wedge holds on, but temperatures should be 10 to 15 degrees warmer than yesterday with highs reaching the 50s and 60s across our area. Perhaps the best news of all? No rain. All the rain has moved away from our area so we will stay dry today. The wedge breaks down tonight as high pressure approaches the area, shifting our winds to a southwesterly flow; this will aid to break down the remainder of the wedge and provide even warmer temperatures for tomorrow with highs in the 60s and low 70s.
Tomorrow, another cold front impacts the area. A map from the HPC short range models shows the position of the cold front tomorrow at 8 a.m. Models indicate the front will move through our area during the mid-afternoon. The story with this cold front won’t be rain, but gusty winds. This front will be accompanied by a steep pressure gradient, meaning there will be a rapid change in pressure over a relatively short distance; abrupt changes in pressure cause strong winds, especially at higher elevations where there could be gusts up to 30 mph. The mean sea level pressure (MSLP) chart per the GFS for tomorrow afternoon shows the isobars (lines of equal pressure) close or “pinched” together, indicating strong winds across the area.
Enjoy the cool, dry and calm day today!