By Kathryn Prociv
Before diving into the weather, I would first like remind everyone that this is Kathryn Prociv, and I would like to thank Kevin Myatt and the Roanoke Times for giving me this opportunity to cover the weather blog. Many of you gave me a very warm welcome yesterday, so I look forward to chatting with you all in the coming days! Now let’s talk about the weather.
The temperatures this morning were cooler than they have been the past few mornings in the Roanoke and New River Valleys. The reason? Radiational cooling. Kevin has talked about radiational cooling before, but it occurs when there is a calm, clear, cloudless night which allows heat to escape from the earth out into space leaving the surface nice and cool. Other clues that radiational cooling took place were the serene valley fog and wet dew on the grass that greeted the early risers. One of my favorite weather rhymes goes like this: when dew is on the grass, rain will never come to pass; when dew is gone by morning light, expect the rain before the night. This folklore rhyme says that dew on the grass signals a calm weather pattern, usually a high pressure system, which will bring beautiful weather for the day ahead. That is exactly what is in store for us today. We will have temperatures in the mid-upper 70s, and possibly even low 80s in some spots with mostly sunny skies and little cloud cover. Open those windows, and enjoy the day because big changes are coming this weekend.
There is currently a cold front marching across the country that will enter our area tomorrow. This cold front will bring precipitation chances as well as colder temperatures to area, especially for Sunday. The Day 1 quanititative precipitation outlook from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) highlights the location of the front in the Midwest. This same cold front will enter our area early tomorrow morning, arriving near the sunrise. The initial frontal passage will likely be pretty dry, as the downsloping effect of the mountains will squeeze out much of the precipitation. However, I wouldn’t rule out any showers throughout the day. Tomorrow’s temperatures with the initial passage of the front look to be in the 60s and perhaps lower 70s closer to the Piedmont region. The bigger rain event and colder temperatures will arrive Saturday night, and continue Sunday as a cold rain.
For those wondering, this is the same cold front that brought the arctic air and snow to parts of the Northern Plains Thursday and Friday. Parts of North Dakota received 3+ inches of snow and areas of NW Minnesota saw up to 14 inches! Now I don’t want the snow haters to get nervous or the snow lovers excited; that arctic air has warmed significantly traveling over the warmer land the past couple of days. I think I will save more on the “s-word” for tomorrow’s blog post.